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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

State Education Department
School for Language and Communication Development
Compliance With the Reimbursable Cost Manual


Issued: April 16, 2018
Link to full audit report 2017-S-59
Link to 90-day response

Purpose
To determine whether the costs reported by the School for Language and Communication Development (SLCD) on its Consolidated Fiscal Reports (CFR) were properly calculated, adequately documented, and allowable under the State Education Department’s (SED) guidelines, including the Reimbursable Cost Manual (RCM). The audit covered the expenses reported on SLCD’s CFR for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015, and certain expenses reported on SLCD’s CFRs for the two fiscal years ended June 30, 2014.

Background
SLCD is an SED-approved, not-for-profit special education provider located in Nassau County, New York. SLCD provides preschool special education services to children with disabilities who are between three and five years of age. SLCD is reimbursed for preschool special education services through rates set by SED. The reimbursement rates are based on financial information, including costs, that SLCD reports to SED on its annual CFR. To be eligible for reimbursement, reported costs must comply with the RCM requirements. For the three fiscal years ended June 30, 2015, SLCD reported approximately $8.1 million in reimbursable costs on its CFRs for the three rate-based preschool special education programs (Programs) that it operated.

Key Findings
For the three fiscal years ended June 30, 2015, we identified $38,741 in ineligible costs that SLCD reported on its CFRs for the Programs. The ineligible costs included: $28,271 in pension benefits for administrative employees that exceeded the benefits available to direct care preschool employees; $7,152 in costs for a teacher assistant that was incorrectly charged to the Programs; $3,220 in compensation that exceeded the regional median for an executive; and $98 in other than personal service costs.

Key Recommendations
To SED:

  • Review the disallowances identified by our audit and, if warranted, make the necessary adjustments to the costs reported on SLCD’s CFRs and to SLCD’s tuition reimbursement rates.
  • Remind SLCD officials of the pertinent SED requirements that relate to the deficiencies we identified.

To SLCD:

  • Ensure that costs reported on annual CFRs fully comply with SED’s requirements, and communicate with SED to obtain clarification as needed.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest
Birch Family Services, Inc.: Compliance With the Reimbursable Cost Manual (2016-S-74)
Kennedy Child Study Center: Compliance With the Reimbursable Cost Manual (2017-S-7)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Andrea Inman
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236