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October 18, 2013, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases State Audits


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

City University of New York, Administration of Fellowship Leaves (2011-S-20)
Although the majority of fellowship recipients complied with CUNY guidelines, improvements are needed to protect taxpayer dollars and the integrity of CUNY's fellowship program. CUNY officials did not have a comprehensive, accurate record of CUNY instructors who were granted fellowships during the review period. At least two fellowship leave recipients were not eligible and should not have been granted them. These recipients were paid $93,632 while on such leave. Ninety-six fellowship recipients failed to submit the required written summaries upon their return from leave detailing the activities they performed while on fellowship. One instructor did not remain in CUNY's employ for the required 12-month period upon her return from leave.

Department of Environmental Conservation, Conservation Fund - Sources and Uses of Funds (2012-S-134)
Fund revenues have been properly accounted for, and expenditures have been related to the DEC’s program responsibilities. The balance in the fund has increased to more than $90 million since license fees were raised in 2009, largely due to a one-time spike of over 100,000 lifetime license sales, the fees from which must be invested in a Trust Account and are not available to fund current operations.
Capital projects increased in the years immediately following the license fee increase, while direct program expenditures initially declined. More recently, the fund has begun funding a greater share of DEC’s law enforcement costs. In 2012-2013 the fund supported 113 fewer staff positions than it did eight years earlier.

Department of Health, Medicaid Claims Processing Activity April 1, 2012 through September 30, 2012 (2012-S-24)
Auditors identified about $2 million in overpayments resulting from claims billed with information from other health insurance plans that was inaccurate, claims with incorrect billings for alternate levels of care and claims for dental services that should have been covered by a managed care plan. Auditors also found claims with improper payments for inpatient services, physician-administered drugs, duplicate procedures, transportation services, eye care services, and nursing home and other services. Auditors recovered about $1.5 million of the overpayments that were identified. DOH officials need to take actions to recover overpayments totaling about $500,000.

Department of Financial Services, Costs to Administer the Insurance Division Operations for the Three Fiscal Years Ended March 31, 2012 (2013-S-6)
DFS is reporting its assessable expenses accurately. The funds spent by the department for the Healthy New York program, postage, and equipment rental were related to DFS activities and were adequately documented. The funds spent by the two sub-allocation agencies (Department of Health's Immunization Program and Department of Law's Automobile Insurance Fraud Unit) were related to the purpose of each program as stated in their appropriation documents and were adequately documented.

Empire State Development Corp., Unnecessary and Potentially Illegal Consultant Contract with Former New York State Council on the Arts Executive Director (2011-S-6)
Auditors found possible violations of law in the procurement of a contract with former New York State Council on the Arts executive director. Auditors concluded the contract was initiated and continued primarily as a means to circumvent the salary for the position set by state law. As a result, she was paid $135,000 annually, instead of the $109,800 salary capped by law, for more than three years. The services the executive director provided were already part of her existing job duties at the council, and therefore unnecessary and wasteful as a separate ESDC contract.

Workers’Compensation Board, Assessment and Collection of Selected Penalties (2011-S-3)
Workers' Compensation Law allows health care providers which have provided services to WCB claimants to notify WCB when the claimant's insurance carrier fails to pay or notify them within 45 days that payment is not being made for a bill that has been submitted. WCB staff review the notification, and if it is determined that payment should have been made by the carrier, WCB is supposed to impose a $50 penalty (HP-1 penalty) on the carrier. Auditors found that while WCB properly bills for the HP-1 penalties, it has not been making sufficient efforts to collect all of the penalties owed. As of October 2011, there were 26,981 HP-1 penalties outstanding, totaling about $1.4 million. However, a significant amount of these posted receivables were due from entities the agency subsequently determined should not have been penalized.

Department of Health, Overpayments of Claims for Selected Professional Services (Follow-Up) (2013-F-14) An initial audit report, issued in April 2012, examined whether inappropriate Medicaid payments were made for selected providers who also received payments from Medicare. Auditors determined that, although DOH implemented a new automated crossover system to reduce Medicaid overpayments, it was flawed. As a result, auditors found potential and actual overpayments of $100,387 for 12,715 duplicate claims during the calendar years 2010 and 2011. In a follow-up, auditors found DOH and Office of the Medicaid Inspector General officials have made progress in correcting the problems identified in the initial report. However, improvements are still needed.

Office of Mental Health, Sexual Offender and Management Treatment Act (2013-S-21)
In April 2007, the Legislature enacted the Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act, which established the civil management process (SOMTA) designed to closely supervise and treat sex offenders who are near release from prison or parole, and who pose a substantial risk to commit new sex crimes. Since the act’s inception, the OMH has reviewed more than 10,500 sex offenders’cases, leading to 266 sex offenders currently being civilly confined. Auditors found direct costs charged to SOMTA appropriations have been program-related and indirect expenses have been properly allocated to the program based upon a reasonable and consistent methodology established by management.


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