October 2, 2012

Maragos: Audit of the County’s 2011 Federal Awards Finds Compliance Deficiencies

Mangano Administration Implements Corrective Actions to

Prevent Fraud and Safeguard Compliance

Mineola, NY:  An independent audit prepared by the Office of Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, known as the Single Audit, found two-thirds of the 2011 federal funds programs tested had deficiencies, some dating back to 2007, with the federal compliance requirements or internal controls surrounding compliance.  

Upon learning of the audit’s findings, the Mangano administration submitted a corrective action plan that focuses on comprehensive education and training of employees that will result in improved checks and balances, monitoring and oversight.  This is important as the County is awarded millions of dollars in federal money for various programs on an annual basis. Compliance by the County is a major factor in determining whether municipalities will receive future awards.

"The future federal funding of these programs depends on the County implementing corrective actions immediately,” Comptroller Maragos said. “The numerous programs our residents rely upon will no longer be in jeopardy if compliance issues are fully addressed. I commend County Executive Mangano for already taking corrective steps to eliminate these deficiencies, some of which date back to 2007, to ensure the future funding of these programs.”

County Executive Mangano stated, “My administration notified federal authorities of suspected improprieties and a lack of compliance with Federal requirements, both of which led to the arrest of at least one long-time Department of Housing employee.  With assistance from the Comptroller, District Attorney, and HUD Inspector General, we have implemented corrective actions and will increase oversight and employee training to prevent neglect and abuse from occurring again.”

The Department of Housing had issues with 3 out of 4 programs tested, noting both non-compliance and significant deficiencies in internal control over compliance. The major programs with audit findings were the Community Development Block Grant, Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant, and Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing. Deficiencies generally included; errors in federal reporting of expenditures to the Comptroller’s Office, lack of supporting documentation, lack of employee training, inadequate checks and balances, and poor cash management.  

The Comptroller’s office is responsible for annually preparing an audited report on the County’s compliance with the requirements of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s Circular A-133 regarding expenditures of federal funds. The audit selected 31 federal programs from which the County received awards during the 2011 calendar year. The selected grant awards were received by the County departments of Housing, Health, Social Services, Public Works, and Human Services.