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NYS Comptroller


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State Education Department
Oversight of School Fire Safety Compliance (Follow-Up)

Issued: November 28, 2017
Link to full audit report 2017-F-22
Link to 30-day response

To determine the extent of implementation of the four recommendations included in our original report, Oversight of School Fire Safety Compliance (2015-S-86).

The State Education Department (Department) is responsible for overseeing school fire safety, including mandatory fire and building inspections, and for ensuring schools’ compliance with fire safety provisions established in the State Education Law, the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, and Department regulations. The Department’s Facilities Planning Unit (Unit) is responsible for the fire safety program for schools located outside New York City.

Our initial audit report, which was issued on August 24, 2016, covering the period January 1, 2013 through May 18, 2015, determined whether the Department was providing effective oversight to ensure school compliance with fire safety procedures, including inspections, reporting, and monitoring. We concluded that the department did not adequately monitor whether schools are in compliance with all fire safety regulations and accurately report violations.

Key Finding
The Department has made significant progress in correcting the problems we identified in the initial report. Of the four prior audit recommendations, two have been implemented and two recommendations have been partially 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 Audit/Report of Interest
State Education Department: Oversight of School Fire Safety Compliance (2015-S-86)

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