Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli
Issued during the week ending December 28, 2012 [Click on the caption to access the full report]
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced that the following audits have been issued:
SUNY at New Paltz Selected Employee Travel Expenses (2012-S-140)
Auditors examined the travel expenses for one college employee whose travel charges totaled $269,627. They found that the selected employee was responsible for arranging travel for other college staff members, charging these travel expenses to her travel card. Auditors reviewed a sample of charges to this employee’s travel card and found the expenses were documented and adhered to state travel rules and regulations.
Department of Economic Development Quality of Internal Control Certification (2012-S-48)
In 1987, the Legislature passed the New York State Governmental Accountability, Audit and Internal Control Act requiring state agencies and public authorities to each institute a comprehensive system of internal controls over their operations. Each covered State agency and public authority is required to certify compliance with act by April 30 of each year. DED's Internal Control Certification was submitted timely.
However, auditors identified several areas where the quality of the certification could be improved. In three instances, DED's certification did not provide the required level of detail to explain the actual steps taken to implement certain provisions, including describing its internal control testing and monitoring processes and the results of its reviews of high risk activities. Although DED certified full compliance with all provisions of the act, its internal audit function has not had an external quality control assessment completed as required by professional auditing standards.
Office of General Services Disposal of Electronic Devices (2012-S-4)
The New York State Office of Cyber Security requires all state entities to establish formal processes to address the risk that information may be improperly disclosed. Information can be compromised through careless disposal of electronic equipment. OGS' surplus unit disposes of such equipment for many State agencies.
The Surplus Unit does not accept any responsibility for clearing the data from these devices. However, OGS' Information Resource Management (IRM) bureau provides IT support for some state agencies. In these cases, IRM is responsible for removing information from the devices prior to making them available to the surplus unit.
At the time of the audit, the surplus unit had 429 electronic devices in its possession for disposal and IRM was responsible for removing information from 25 of the devices on hand. Of these, three did not have information completely removed. One of the three devices still had sensitive information on a hard drive, including multiple social security numbers, medical records and confidential human resource information.
New York State Health Insurance Program -Department of Civil Service Empire BlueCross BlueShield Selected Payments for Special Items for the Period April 1 Through June 30, 2011 (2011-S-42)
Empire processes claims for hospital services in accordance to agreements they negotiate with member hospitals. Payments for hospital services are generally based on standard fee schedules. However, hospitals may be entitled to additional payments for special items that are not covered by the standard fee schedules.
Many of Empire's agreements with member hospitals limit charges for special items, while agreements with other hospitals do not have such limitations. Auditors found Empire did not have adequate controls to ensure special items were paid according to contract limitations.
As a result, Empire made a net overpayment of $119,141 on 33 claims. Empire made an excessive payment to a hospital that did not have formal contract provisions limiting reimbursements for special items. On one claim we reviewed, Empire paid about $52,755 (or 444 percent) more than the costs of the three special items in question.