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August 16, 2013

State Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Audits


New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today the following audits have been issued: 

Department of Agriculture and Markets, Uncollected Penalties (2012-S-69)
Auditors found outstanding accounts routinely have no collection activity for two years or more and are often eventually deemed uncollectible. Between April 2007 and October 2012, more than 6,000 penalized establishments went out of business resulting in the withdrawal and write off of more than $3.5 million of accounts receivable. Critical but incompatible duties associated with collection are all assigned to one employee. An absence of management oversight has increased the risk that errors, omissions and even irregularities can occur and not be detected. 

Department of Motor Vehicles, Oversight and Collection of Snowmobile Registration Fees (2011-S-54) 
DMV practices have allowed snowmobile registration discounts to registrants who are ineligible for them, resulting in less revenue to the trail fund for trail services. As a result, 31 of the 50 discounted registrations (62 percent) auditors sampled were for registrants for whom neither DMV nor the New York State Snowmobile Association could confirm eligibility. Given the weaknesses identified, auditors estimate lost revenues to the trail fund may be significant. 

Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Selected Aspects of Bus Fleet Maintenance Report (2013-F-8)
An initial audit report in 2010 examined whether the MTA has standards and procedures for the maintenance of its bus fleet, performs bus maintenance in compliance with these standards and procedures, and has a comprehensive maintenance plan for its bus fleet. Auditors found that a number of improvements were needed. In a follow-up report, auditors found the MTA made significant progress in correcting the problems identified. The MTA has implemented four recommendations and partially implemented three recommendations. 

Statewide Travel Audits: 
As part of a statewide initiative to determine whether the use of travel money by selected government employees was appropriate, auditors looked at travel expenses for the highest-cost travelers in the state for the following state entities: 

State University of New York System Administration Office, Selected Employee Travel Expenses (2012-S-100) 
Auditors selected to audit one State University of New York System Administration Office employee whose expenses ranked among the highest in the state in the area of lodging. In total, they examined $188,074 in travel costs associated with this employee. Most of the expenses examined were appropriate. However, the employee selected for audit had charges totaling $5,021 that were either for non-reimbursable expenses ($200 hotel room smoking charge) or lacked adequate assurance that the charges were for the most reasonable and economical method of travel ($4,821 in car service charges). 

State University of New York College at Buffalo, Selected Employee Travel Expenses (2012-S-136) 
Auditors were only able to examine two years and nine months of the three years of travel expenditures totaling $127,095 because the college was not required to and did not maintain records prior to July 1, 2008. The travel expenses for the one employee selected for audit were documented and adhered to state travel rules and regulations. This employee was an athletic coach who was responsible for team travel expenses. This coach also incurred expenses for recruiting trips. 

State University of New York at Stony Brook, Selected Employee Travel Expenses (2012-S-102)
Auditors examined the travel costs of eight university employees whose expenses exceeded $100,000 or had outliers in the area of train fare. In total, auditors examined $1,313,845 in travel costs associated with these eight employees. Most of the expenses auditors examined were appropriate. However, two employees had charges totaling $2,529 that were either not for legitimate business purposes or lacked adequate assurance the charge was solely for legitimate business purposes. 


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