Join the GOOGLE +Rubber Room Community

Saturday, July 22, 2017

NYC Comptroller Cites The NYC Department of Education For Not Accounting For Thousands of Missing Computers, Tablets and Laptops

I would add to the quote above: "...or for stealing public property."

If public funds have paid for 50 computers to be given to your school, who is to point the finger at you, the principal/AP if you take one home? No one. I am not saying that all principals have thought about doing this, but I am saying that there are principals who have taken public property for themselves, or others.

See Stuart Possner's case. and,

Five NYC Department of Education Former and Current DOE Network Leaders Exposed For Violating P-Card Rules

There are many more.

On Thursday July 20, 2017 City Councilman Ruben Wills was convicted of public corruption:
City Councilman Convicted of Stealing Thousands in Public Funds
I wonder how MS226 Principal Rushell White feels about that.

MS 226 Principal Rushell White Key Words: Checks From Ruben Wills

Did Rushell White get the $750 handbag made by Louis Vuitton? People I spoke to at MS 226 say yes, she did.

Or, if a member of your staff asks where a missing computer (or two or three) may be, you, as the principal can charge him/her with taking it, and if this person doesn't have tenure, he/she can be discontinued immediately following the 60-day notice; or, if this person has tenure, then it is time for a 3020-a, with other charges padding the list of Specifications to make sure the person is terminated.

So you, principal/AP/favored staff member dont have to worry about anything. Just enjoy your spanking new computer.

Parents and non-staff members are also sometimes on the take:
Stuyvesant High School Parents' Association is Cited For Financial Fraud and Discrimination

or in danger because they say something:
Booker T. Washington Middle School 54, Grievance Brings Retaliation

How many teachers have been told suddenly that they are re-assigned, and must leave the building, leaving all their stuff accumulated over many years, in their classrooms, never to be seen again. Sometimes the property of the re-assigned gets put into a room where staff can go through the items and take what they want.

If this happens, go to the police, make a complaint. Pronto. Then tell the Principal you need your stuff, and go to the UFT and tell them .

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials

Scott Stringer
In a sample of just nine locations, DOE failed to account for almost 35 percent of machines
Over 1,800 computers, tablets, and other technology were missing from sampled schools
(New York, NY) – A new Comptroller Stringer investigation has found the New York City Department of Education is missing more than 1,800 computers, laptops, and tablets, while more than 3,500 were not properly accounted for. In a sample of just eight schools and one agency office, the Comptroller found 35 percent of approximately 14,000 machines were not properly accounted for.
The follow-up audit released today comes two and a half years after a December 2014 audit by Comptroller Stringer that highlighted how the DOE could not locate 1,817 computers and identified another nearly 400 laptops and tablets that were sitting in storage, unopened and unused.
The Comptroller’s new investigation today revealed that the DOE has made no real progress in managing its technology inventory in the years since. Auditors found:
  • An additional 1,816 laptops, computers, and tablets are now missing—from just nine DOE locations audited;
  • 3,541 devices that were or should have been at those nine locations were not listed in DOE’s inventory — increasing the risk that DOE equipment can be stolen undetected; and
  • The DOE continues to maintain the same decentralized inventory records for its technology equipment that were found inaccurate two and a half years ago and remain so.
“I’m calling on the DOE to do a top-to-bottom review of all of its computers, laptops, and monitors. When we should be preparing our kids for the great age of technology, when coding is changing the world, the DOE is losing and misplacing its tech equipment. This isn’t just a massive mess – it’s wrong. When laptops and tablets go missing, or are stored in closets gathering dust, children and teachers are let down. The ineptitude by the bureaucracy is resulting in wasted resources, and it undermines our ability to prepare our children for the future,” New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said. “The DOE has known about these problems since we audited this very issue over two years ago – and the agency has made no real progress in addressing them. We constantly hear the same excuses from the agency – that monitoring is in place, that systems are functioning the way they should, and that the public should trust that everything is fine. As this audit once again shows, taxpayer dollars are exposed to waste, fraud, or abuse – and it’s coming at our kids’ expense. This has to change.”
Between July 2014 and March 2016, the DOE entered into $209.9 million worth of contracts for computers, laptops, monitors, and tablets with Apple, Lenovo, and CDW Government, LLC. The items purchased through these three contracts included:
  • Desktops computers that cost between $332 and $2,290;
  • Laptops that cost between $167 and $2,339;
  • Tablets that cost between $251 and $900; and
  • Computer monitors that cost between $94 and $452.
Comptroller Stringer’s December 2014 audit found that the DOE was unable to properly manage its technology hardware due in large part to its decentralized inventory system. Today’s follow-up audit found that those failures have continued.
Currently, more than 2,000 individual “site administrators” across the school system are responsible for maintaining and updating their own computer inventories, which are never reconciled with the DOE’s central purchasing database or its Asset Management System (AMS). As a result, the DOE has no way of knowing whether all of the items it purchased are properly accounted for at school locations. These systemic failures expose the City to an increased risk of waste, fraud, and abuse.
In the earlier audit, the Comptroller recommended the DOE establish a centralized inventory system — possibly through the existing AMS database, which already contains information on hardware purchased by the DOE. Today’s follow-up audit showed the results of DOE’s rejection of that and other recommendations — still more missing and unused equipment — and revealed that the DOE had not even tried to find 1,090 of the 1,817 computers that were identified as missing in the December 2014 audit.
Findings from the follow-up audit include:
The DOE’s records remain inaccurate and incomplete
The DOE failed to properly account for 4,993 of its 14,329 pieces of computer hardware — or 34.9 percent of the total — at the nine sampled sites. Of those 4,993 items:
  • Auditors looked for — but DOE was unable to produce — 1,816 pieces of computer hardware during physical inspections; and
  • Auditors found that 3,541 pieces of computer hardware were not listed in the locations’ inventory records.
No centralized system for monitoring inventory
The previous audit recommended that the DOE revise its Standard Operating Procedures to record all computer hardware purchases in AMS and ensure that annual inventory counts are conducted and reconciled with the information in AMS. Yet, the DOE continues to refuse to implement that recommendation, citing costs, despite the potential for fraud and wasteful spending.
The DOE did not monitor recordkeeping procedures at schools and administrative sites
DOE fails to ensure that its inventory records are accurate and complete. The Department’s unmonitored, decentralized inventory system — in which site administrators from each of DOE’s 2,278 sites are responsible for maintaining and updating inventory records — are never checked against central databases of purchases. This puts computer hardware at a higher risk of being lost, stolen, and wasted.
The DOE accounted for only 12.9% of the items that were previously identified as missing
In today’s audit, the DOE accounted for only 234 of the 1,817 missing pieces of computer hardware identified in the previous audit — or 12.9 percent. The findings are broken down below.
  • The DOE reported that it did not attempt to locate 1,090 computer items, most of which were listed in AMS as “location unknown.”
  • Of the remaining 727 pieces of missing hardware identified in the 2014 audit, the DOE reported that it had located 353 items at eight sites.
  • However, when the Comptroller’s office attempted to inspect 188 of those items at two of the sites, DOE could account for only 69 of them, or 36.7 percent.
    • The DOE claimed it had identified 162 of the missing items at the sampled DOE administrative office, but when auditors visited, they only found 69 of them.
    • Although the DOE claimed that 26 pieces of computer hardware were located at a single school, the DOE did not provide the auditors with access to that school to verify their claims.
The DOE did not provide schools and other decentralized sites with sufficient guidance and support to ensure compliance with its inventory guidelines
During interviews with DOE staff at nine sampled sites, auditors were told that they were not aware of — and did not receive access to — inventory training, AMS data, and other vendor inventory services, all of which should have been in place to help properly track computer equipment.
To address the issues that were identified in the earlier audit and the persistent problems uncovered in the follow-up audit, the Comptroller’s office issued 19 recommendations, emphasizing the need for the DOE to establish a single centralized system for monitoring its hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of  computer hardware.

New York Schools Faulted Again for Failing to Keep Track of Computers

Three years ago, an audit by the New York City comptroller’s office found that because of “grossly inaccurate” record-keeping, the city’s Education Department could not account for 1,817 computers it owned.

On Wednesday, Scott M. Stringer, the comptroller, issued a follow-up audit and said things had not improved. Mr. Stringer rebuked the department for its “ineptitude” in keeping track of computers and tablets it had bought for schools and offices.

The recommendations the comptroller’s office made in 2014 included creating a centralized inventory system for computers and tablets and routinely monitoring record-keeping procedures at schools and department offices to ensure that their inventories were accurate. Neither recommendation was adopted. The department said maintaining a centralized inventory was not practical.

For the latest audit, the comptroller’s office examined the computer inventory at eight schools and one administrative office. The comptroller’s office found that 4,993 out of 14,329 pieces of computer hardware at those locations were not properly accounted for, and that 1,816 pieces were not found by the auditors at all. At Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, for example, more than one in five pieces of computer hardware listed in purchasing records, school inventory records and other city documents were not physically accounted for.

As for the 1,817 computers that were unaccounted for in the earlier audit, the comptroller’s office said the department had accounted for 234, or 13 percent.

“We constantly hear the same excuses from the agency — that monitoring is in place, that systems are functioning the way they should and that the public should trust that everything is fine,” Mr. Stringer said in a statement. “As this audit once again shows, taxpayer dollars are exposed to waste, fraud or abuse — and it’s coming at our kids’ expense.”

The Education Department criticized the new audit, saying its findings were “fundamentally flawed and unreliable.” The department faulted the comptroller’s office for relying on the department’s Asset Management System, which is primarily used to track hardware warranty and service data, as a central inventory of hardware that had been bought.

The comptroller’s office noted that the department had instructed schools to use data from the Asset Management System as a basis for creating and updating their own inventory records.

The new audit covered the two years from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2016. The department bought more than $200 million worth of computers and tablets during that period.

Nearly 2,000 technology devices for students are missing

No comments: