Office of Mental Health

Capital Improvement Program at Psychiatric Centers (95-S-99)

In 1984, the Office of Mental Health (OMH) began a capital improvement program to renovate many of its psychiatric centers. Without this renovation, a number of centers were in danger of losing their accreditation. These renovations, which were estimated to cost more than $1 billion, were expected to improve living conditions for patients and reduce operating costs at the centers.

We examined the status of the program and found that none of the renovation schedules had been met and, at the time of our audit, only 3 of 16 planned projects had been completed. OMH officials told us many of the delays were caused by the Office of General Services and the Facilities Development Corporation, which were responsible for overseeing the projects' design and construction. However, officials at the Facilities Development Corporation told us that many of the delays were caused by OMH. We make recommendations aimed at improving the State's process for administering such renovation projects.

We also examined whether the intended benefits of the renovations are likely to be achieved. We found that OMH has not taken steps to determine whether the renovated centers' operating costs will be reduced, as intended. We recommend that such steps be taken.

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