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May 20, 2013

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today the following audits have been issued:

Department of Health, Excessive Medicaid Payments for Services to Recipients Receiving Medicare Benefits (Follow-Up) (2012-F-29)
An initial audit report, issued in September 2010, examined whether DOH was correctly paying claims for services to Medicaid recipients who also had health insurance through Medicare. Auditors identified about $600 million in Medicaid payments that could have been avoided had DOH taken more comprehensive and proactive steps to administer Medicaid reimbursements for services provided to dual eligible individuals. In the audit just released, auditors found DOH and Office of the Medicaid Inspector General officials have made progress in correcting the problems identified in the initial report. All three prior audit recommendations have been partially implemented.

New York State Thruway Authority, Inspecting Highway Bridges and Repairing Defects (2012-S-33)
NYSTA is responsible for inspecting its bridges and repairing any defects found during inspections. If a serious (“red flag”) structural defect is identified during an inspection, NYSTA must notify the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) within one week. NYSTA has six weeks to take appropriate action. In addition, NYSTA must provide DOT with the written determinations from bridge inspections within 60 days. Auditors found the authority repairs defects identified during inspections. However, highway bridges were not always inspected timely and DOT was not always notified of red flags within one week, as required.

Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, Real Estate Portfolio (2012-S-90)
The Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority provides public transportation services in Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wayne, Wyoming and Seneca counties. State law requires each authority to maintain adequate inventory controls for its property and report annually on all property held. It also requires authorities to determine which property shall be disposed of and transfer or dispose of such property as promptly as possible. Auditors found the authority has accounted for all of its property holdings and established a value for them. However, it owns two properties that have been identified as excess holdings for more than 14 years. Additionally, the authority did not accurately report its property holdings during the three years ended March 31, 2012.

Department of Environmental Conservation, Pollution Testing on Exhaust Emissions from Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicles (Follow-Up) (2013-F-3)
The initial audit report, issued in March 2010, examined whether DEC adequately fulfilled its testing program responsibilities for exhaust emissions. Auditors found DEC generally fulfilled its responsibilities but could improve by maintaining critical performance data and coordinating with DMV and DOT to ensure such data was maintained for all aspects of the program. Auditors also questioned whether DEC's coverage of inspection facilities was adequate. In a follow-up report, auditors found DEC officials have made progress addressing the issues identified in the initial report. Of the 12 prior audit recommendations four were implemented, five were partially implemented, and three were not implemented.

State University of New York, Fuller Road Management Corp., College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering - Network Security Controls (2012-S-28)
The college has a number of business relationships with both public and private organizations. As part of these relationships, the college facilitates the management and processing of financial, legal, research, and numerous other types of data. The New York Office of Cyber Security’s Information Security Policy defines a set of minimum security requirements that are considered best practices for all state entities, including SUNY campuses. Auditors found that in addition to the security measures established by the university, the college has implemented its own controls that protect the security of systems and data.

Department of Agriculture and Markets, Disposal of Electronic Devices (2012-S-70)
State policy requires all state agencies to establish formal procedures to address the risk that personal, private or sensitive information may be improperly disclosed. One way information can be compromised is through disposal of electronic devices. Auditors found that 15 of the 132 electronic devices readied for surplus by the agency still contained data, even though the department had certified that all memory devices had been removed. One of the hard drives contained personal, private and sensitive information related to an employee. The printer hard drive and cameras also contained retrievable data, and the cell phones had not been programmed back to their original manufacturer settings.

Capital District Transportation Authority, Real Estate Portfolio (2012-S-91)
The authority’s primary responsibility is the management of the capital region’s bus services. State law requires the authority to report its real property holdings, listings of properties purchased or sold and its sale/lease procedures annually. The authority has a real estate portfolio that consists of nine properties/facilities. In connection with this portfolio, the authority reported that it has entered into 23 leases that generate about $808,000 annually. Auditors found the authority’s annual report for 2011-2012 omitted three properties. In addition, the three properties were not disclosed on the authority website and the report that was available on the website was not dated. The authority also could not document that it achieved fair market value for the properties.

Department of Transportation, Collection of Lease and Permit Revenues (2012-S-6)
DOT has land that it does not use continuously. Interested parties can pay a fee for a permit to use such land temporarily. Auditors found DOT is not effectively collecting all unpaid lease and permit fees. As of May 2012, DOT was owed $6 million in lease and permit revenues, including $2.4 million between two and six years past due and another $1.4 million at least six years past due. In total, 195 permits were more than 30 days past due. Of 45 sampled permits which had outstanding balances, no action was taken on eight. These eight permits had a total of $417,000 outstanding at the time of the audit.

Statewide Travel Audits
As part of a statewide initiative to determine whether the use of travel money by selected government employees was appropriate, auditors looked at travel expenses for the highest-cost travelers in the state for the following state entity:

State University of New York, College at Plattsburgh - Selected Employee Travel Expenses (2012-S-141)
Auditors examined the travel costs of two college employees with $194,805 in travel costs. Most of the expenses examined were appropriate. However, one faculty member charged the College for $708 in expenses that were not related to official business and used his travel card for $177 of other inappropriate expenses.

For other recent audits, including those on travel, go to: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/audits/auditDateList.htm

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