Department of State
Oversight of the Enhanced Wireless 911 Program Each county has an emergency call center to receive 911 calls made in that county. If the center is not equipped with an enhanced wireless 911 system, it cannot automatically identify the location of callers using cellular phones, making it difficult to send help to such callers when they are unable to identify their location. To encourage the counties to develop enhanced wireless 911 systems, State legislation in 2002 made certain funding available to the counties and created the New York State 911 Board within the Department of State to facilitate and oversee the implementation of such systems.
We examined the progress made by the counties in developing enhanced wireless 911 systems and found that, as of April 2006, 15 of the 58 counties had yet to complete their systems and 10 of these 15 counties had made little or no progress on their systems. We found that the Department of State did not actively track the counties’ implementation efforts, and consequently, was in no position to provide assistance to counties not making adequate progress. We recommended that the Department actively oversee the remaining implementation efforts and work closely with any counties that were encountering difficulties.
We also identified weaknesses in the practices used by the Department and the New York State 911 Board in awarding State funding to the counties. For example, $18 million of the $100 million in funding that was intended to expedite the development of enhanced wireless 911 systems was awarded to counties that had already completed such systems. We recommended certain changes in the State’s funding practices.
For a complete copy of Report 2005-S-68 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.