Department of Environmental Conservation

Division of Water: Use of Non-State Staff to Accomplish Certain Program Requirements

The Department of Environmental Conservation protects water quality in rivers, lakes, reservoirs, wetlands, aquifers and coastal areas by regulating wastewater discharges, monitoring water quality and controlling surface run-off. Some of these activities are performed by outside entities under the Departmentís supervision. We examined the relationship between the Department and two of these outside entities: the Regional Application Center for the Northeast (a unit within Cayuga Community College) and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, which together provided 47 of the 57 non-State staff used for these activities. We found that the use of these outside staff may not have been in the Stateís best interests, as the services were not obtained through an open and competitive process and the staff may have been less qualified than comparable Department employees. The outside staff cost about the same as additional Department staff would have cost, and there was no documentation available explaining why it was better for the Department to use outside staff for these ongoing activities. We recommend the Department formally determine whether its outside staffing arrangements are cost-beneficial, and if so, take action to ensure that the staff are appropriately qualified.

For a complete copy of Report 2004-S-76 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.