Office of Children and Family Services


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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Office of Children and Family Services
Contracts for Personal and Miscellaneous Services

Issued: December 24, 2011
Link to full audit report 2009-S-100

To determine whether the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) justified its need to contract out for personal and miscellaneous services, and whether it periodically reassessed such contracts to determine which ones could be deferred, eliminated, or reduced to save the State money. The audit covers the period April 2006 – July 20, 2010.

OCFS enters into personal and miscellaneous services contracts to help it promote the safety and well being of children, families and communities. It had 525 active Service contracts valued at $139.2 million during the period April 2006 through July 20, 2010. These contracts were almost exclusively for information technology services such as data processing. NYS Division of Budget Directives require State agencies to review these contracts to identify potential savings.

Key Findings

  • OCFS could not demonstrate that it had formally evaluated and justified the need for 14 of the 15 contracts we reviewed.  These 14 contracts were valued at $22.9 million.   
  • OCFS had not performed required periodic reviews of its Service contracts, nor had it performed a comprehensive assessment of its existing contracts to prioritize their importance and determine whether any could be deferred, eliminated or reduced.  If OCFS had reduced spending on such contracts by 11 percent, savings of $2.5 million could have been realized. 

Key Recommendations

  • Communicate to staff the need to support Service Contracts with written justifications of the need for the service, and the need to contract out. 
  • Periodically reassess all Service Contracts to identify opportunities to suspend, eliminate, reduce or bring them in-house, and document these determinations. 

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Office of Mental Health: Contracts for Personal and Miscellaneous Services Report 2009-S-42
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance: Contracts for Personal and Miscellaneous Services Report 2009-S-101
New York City Human Resources Administration: Personal and Miscellaneous Service Contracts Report 2010-N-3

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Frank Patone
Phone:(212) 417-5200; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236