Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities

Central New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office: Use of Employees and Employees’ Relatives as Vendors

The Central New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office (DDSO) oversees the care that is provided to about 3,850 persons with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. This care is provided in community-based group homes and privately-owned family care homes. We found that some of the vendors hired by the DDSO to provide maintenance and repair services at the group homes were relatives of employees at the DDSO. We examined 113 of these transactions and found that, in most of these instances, there was no indication other vendors were given an opportunity to provide the services and no assurance a reasonable price was paid for the services. We also found that the documentation of the transactions often lacked important details, and as a result, it was often difficult to determine what kind of maintenance or repair work was supposed to have been done. We recommended that the internal controls over such transactions be significantly strengthened.

The DDSO hires qualified sitters for family care homes when the regular family care providers cannot be at home or need time away from their caregiving responsibilities. Some of these sitters are also full-time employees at the DDSO, and we found that, on numerous occasions, one of these employees was fraudulently paid for providing sitter services at the same time that she was being paid to perform her regular duties for the DDSO. The DDSO official who was responsible for the sitter services told us the employee’s brother (who is also a qualified sitter) was actually providing the services on those occasions, but this arrangement was not documented. We recommended the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities investigate this matter and determine whether qualified sitter services were actually provided on those occasions. We also recommended the DDSO recover the money paid to the employee for the sitter services she never provided.

For a complete copy of Report 2007-S-90 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.