Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Long Island Region: Selected Financial Management and Administrative Practices

We examined the procedures used by the Long Island Region to hire seasonal employees, manage its fleet of 73 motor vehicles, and assign employees to 51 State-owned housing units associated with various parks. We identified a number of practices that give the appearance that favoritism may be shown to selected employees. For example, seasonal employees are not hired through an open, competitive method; rather, when vacant positions need to be filled, current and former employees are encouraged to reach out to friends and neighbors and ask them to submit applications. As a result, it may appear that favored individuals are given preference for park jobs.

We also found that certain seasonal employees are regularly retained for longer periods than other seasonal employees, and as a result, qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. We further found that 12 employees are permanently assigned vehicles on a 24-hour basis, even though the employees do not appear to need the vehicles on this basis in order to perform their duties. Similarly, four senior Region officials are allowed to live in State-owned houses at rents far below market value, even though they do not directly provide services to the public, as do the other Region employees who are assigned to housing units. These four houses are located on a private road adjoining a park near Region headquarters, and are not accessible to the public. If these houses and three potential lots at the location were sold, the State could realize about $1 million in revenue.

For a complete copy of Report 96-S-57 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.