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Friday February 22, 2019

DiNapoli Says State Office for Technology Wasted Millions

English: STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- State comptrol...

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NY State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s has accused the state Office for Technology of flagrant misconduct, wasting millions of dollars and a breakdown of ethical standards.

The Associated Press reported that DiNapoli’s office issued a report saying that OFT had “a culture, emanating from the highest levels of the agency, that disregarded” state law and guidelines. According to the AP, auditors found irregularities going back to 2010.

The audit revealed that OFT favored certain companies with purchases that wasted millions of dollars, and that in one case it wasted at least $1.5 million on a contract totaling less than $6 million. The auditors also uncovered that a former administrator had improperly landed a job for a girlfriend at a company seeking to do business with the state.

OFT is responsible for updating the state’s government technology, improving service by making it more efficient and buying computer equipment.

“These officials were supposed to lead New York State’s efforts to modernize technology, but my office found flagrant misconduct and that no one within OFT stepped forward to question these actions, indicating a systemic breakdown in agency ethics,” DiNapoli told the AP.

Angela R. Liotta, OFT spokeswoman, also told the AP that auditors “mischaracterize the agency’s current operations” and fails to note its new policies. OFT said that the reported misconduct centered on an agency administrator who left in December 2010, and whose boss left the agency not long after.

The auditors recommended that all staff, including senior and executive management, receive ethics training. The OFT, in a letter to the auditors, agreed that ethics training is “imperative.”

Associated Press