Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Safety of Infrastructure (Follow-Up)

Issued: January 06, 2015
Link to full audit report 2014-F-16
Link to 90-day response

To determine the extent of implementation of the two recommendations included in our original report, Safety of Infrastructure (2012-S-29).

Our initial audit report, which was issued on September 6, 2012, examined whether the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (Parks) was maintaining its infrastructure to preserve park safety by properly inspecting and repairing any hazardous conditions identified. We found staff were actively involved in inspecting facilities and repairing any hazardous conditions. However, site visits confirmed that many infrastructure issues existed throughout the park system. As of October 2010, there was a backlog of over $1.1 billion in improvements that needed to be made. In some cases, staff had been able to make repairs, but in others had either opted to cordon off certain areas to prevent public access, or in the most extreme cases, to close individual amenities or even sections of the parks to ensure public safety. We found Parks needed to establish principles to guide selection of alternative solutions in cases where potentially dangerous infrastructure problems are likely to remain unaddressed for an extended period of time.

Key Findings

  • We found Parks continues to prioritize its infrastructure needs but no longer maintains a comprehensive, up-to-date listing of backlogged projects.
  • For fiscal years 2012-13 and 2013-14, Parks started or completed 204 projects with total costs over $221 million using New York Works funds. However, additional work is needed to safeguard the public in areas where potentially dangerous infrastructure problems remain unaddressed, including at least one problem area discussed in our prior audit.
  • Of the two prior audit recommendations, one was implemented and one was not implemented.

Key Recommendation

  • Officials are given 30 days after the issuance of the follow-up review to provide information on any actions that are planned to address the unresolved issues discussed in this review.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation: Safety of Infrastructure (2012-S-29)

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: John Buyce
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236