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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

State Education Department
Marie Pense Center, LLC
Compliance With the Reimbursable Cost Manual


Issued: December 31, 2019
Link to full audit report 2019-S-36

Objective
To determine whether the costs reported by Marie Pense Center, LLC (Marie Pense) on its Consolidated Fiscal Reports (CFRs) were reasonable, necessary, directly related to the special education program, and sufficiently documented pursuant to the State Education Department’s (SED) Reimbursable Cost Manual (RCM). The audit focused primarily on expenses claimed on Marie Pense’s CFR for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015 and certain expenses claimed on its CFRs for the two fiscal years ended June 30, 2014.

About the Program
Marie Pense is a New York City-based proprietary organization authorized by SED to provide Preschool Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) services to children with disabilities who are between the ages of three and five years. During the 2014-15 school year, Marie Pense served approximately 280 students. In addition to the SEIT cost-based program, Marie Pense operated other non-SED programs including Special Education Teacher Support Services, non-public education of special needs children, and private case services. Payments for services under these programs come from private pay and the New York City Department of Education (DOE).

DOE refers students to Marie Pense and pays for its services using rates established by SED. The rates are based on the financial information Marie Pense reports to SED on its annual CFRs. For the three fiscal years ended June 30, 2015, Marie Pense reported approximately $8 million in reimbursable costs for the SEIT cost-based program.

Key Findings
For the three fiscal years ended June 30, 2015, we identified $152,967 in reported costs that did not comply with the requirements in the RCM and recommend that such costs be disallowed. These ineligible costs included $109,101 in personal service costs and $43,866 in other than personal service costs, as follows:
ƒƒ

  • $71,760 in pension costs that did not comply with the RCM’s requirements; ƒƒ
  • $29,519 in overallocated compensation costs associated with shared employees; ƒƒ
  • $25,893 in miscellaneous other than personal services costs, including $23,446 in unsupported costs and $2,447 in costs that were not eligible for reimbursement; ƒƒ
  • $8,816 in non-allowable rent expenses; ƒƒ
  • $7,822 in unsupported compensation expenses; ƒƒ
  • $7,582 in unsupported depreciation expenses; and ƒƒ
  • $1,575 in H1 visa costs that did not meet the requirements of the RCM.

Key Recommendations
To SED:

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

To Marie Pense:

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

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Kenrick Sifontes
Phone: (212) 417-5200; 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