Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities

Central New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office: Physical Plant Procurement Practices

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 other program sites. The DDSO’s Physical Plant Services Office hires vendors to provide home maintenance and repair services at the group homes. We examined these hiring practices and found that the Physical Plant Services Office was colluding with favored vendors to steer work to the vendors and deny other vendors a fair opportunity to perform the work. We identified 167 home maintenance and repair contracts totaling more than $1 million that were awarded through collusion and bid rigging.

At our request, officials from the Office of General Services examined the prices paid by the DDSO on a sample of these contracts. They determined that an excessive price was paid on 19 of the 31 contracts in the sample, and estimated that the 19 contracts were inflated by a total of 40 percent. We determined that several of the favored vendors were clients and suppliers of businesses that were owned by the head of the Physical Plant Services Office. We further determined that this individual secured discounts and other benefits from these vendors. We referred our findings to local law enforcement officials for investigation, and recommended that certain improvements be made in the DDSO’s procurement practices.

For a complete copy of Report 2007-S-136 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.