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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

State University of New York
Oversight of Hazardous Materials and Waste (Follow-Up)


Issued: January 30, 2020
Link to full audit report 2019-F-47

Objective
To assess the extent of implementation of the three recommendations included in our initial audit report, Oversight of Hazardous Materials and Waste (2017-S-51).

About the Program
Our initial report, covering the period January 1, 2015 through May 4, 2018, examined whether State University of New York (SUNY) institutions have developed adequate controls to effectively safeguard campus communities against hazardous materials and waste. Our audit found that SUNY officials have established controls over and complied with hazardous waste regulations that provide reasonable assurance that students and communities are safeguarded against exposure to hazardous waste.However, based on our visits to two University Centers (University at Buffalo and Stony Brook University) and five campuses (Plattsburgh, New Paltz, Polytechnic Institute, Oneonta, and Cobleskill), we found significant variation in the adequacy of controls over hazardous materials. At most of the non-university center campuses, we found select areas in which controls over hazardous materials could be improved. However, these weaknesses were not pervasive throughout all areas of internal controls. In contrast, the University Centers had weaknesses throughout all the areas of internal controls we reviewed. These weaknesses prevent proper monitoring and accounting for hazardous materials, compliance with legal requirements, and enforcement of restricted access to hazardous materials. The three recommendations in our initial audit report addressed the development of strategies to enhance monitoring and inventory over hazardous materials and implementation of recommendations detailed during the audit to strengthen controls over hazardous materials.

Key Finding
SUNY officials and campuses have made significant progress in correcting the problems we identified in the initial report. All three recommendations have been implemented.


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