Department of Health

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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Department of Health
Oversight of Obesity and Diabetes Prevention Programs


Issued: September 17, 2018
Link to full audit report 2017-S-78
Link to 90-day response

Purpose
To determine whether the Department of Health (Department) measured the effectiveness of the obesity and diabetes prevention programs in meeting their goals and whether it provided effective oversight of its service provider contracts to ensure claimed expenses are program-appropriate and consistent with contract requirements. The audit covered the period October 1, 2015 through April 26, 2018.

Background
The Department’s mission is to protect, improve, and promote the health, productivity, and well-being of all New Yorkers. The Department’s vision is that New Yorkers will be the healthiest people in the world. However, almost 1.7 million New Yorkers (10.5 percent) have diabetes, an increase from 6.3 percent in 2000. To combat this, the Department has established programs to address the increasing incidence and prevalence of obesity in the State.

During State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2017-18, the Department allocated $5.97 million among several initiatives created to decrease the rates of obesity and diabetes. We focused our review on the two initiatives with the highest funding during SFY 2017-18: Creating Healthy Schools and Communities ($4,507,480) and Creating Breastfeeding Friendly Communities ($1,087,100).

Key Findings

  • The Department does not track the effect of outcome-based indicators (e.g., healthy nutrition posters, benches, bicycle racks) on the rates of obesity and diabetes. Thus, the Department is not able to perform data analyses that could offer a tangible insight on impact or identify performance patterns and trends for many of the outputs it funds.
  • The Department made overpayments of $5,811 to two contractors. One contractor received $5,751 for personal service costs that were not allowable and a second contractor claimed $60 in unsupported utility expenses.

Key Recommendations

  • Take steps to improve oversight of contractor performance to ensure that contractor deliverables are outcome-based and correlate to Department expectations for the individual programs it is funding.
  • Ensure that costs reported by the Department’s network of contractors are supported, appropriate, and reimbursable.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest
Department of Health: Fiscal Oversight and Monitoring of AIDS Institute Service Provider Contracts (2016-S-30)
Department of Health: Oversight of Student Immunization in Schools (2015-S-85)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Brian Reilly
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