Coordination of Food Services

We examined the efficiency and quality of the food services provided to residents, staff and visitors at institutions operated by the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS), the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), the Office of Mental Health (OMH), the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD), and the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). We conclude that costs can be reduced and food quality can be improved. For example, if the average daily food cost per person at OMH, OMRDD, and OCFS during the year we audited was the same as the cost at DOCS, the three agencies would have spent a total of $16.3 million less during the year. We believe food costs at the three agencies could be lowered if they adopted some of the control techniques used by DOCS. We also identified a need for better coordination among the five agencies. For example, while DOCS was planning to increase the capacity of its central cook/chill facility, OMH's central cook/chill facility was operating at only 20 percent of its capacity.

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