The Civil Service Commission (CSC) is an administrative body that hears and renders decisions on candidates’ appeals of disqualification from an eligible civil service employment list and City employees’ appeals of City disciplinary decisions.  In deciding such appeals, the CSC reviews relevant documentation and may conduct evidentiary hearings.  The CSC may also conduct reviews, studies, or analyses of the administration of City personnel.

The New York City Charter, Chapter 35, Section 813(a) provides that the CSC shall consist of five members appointed by the Mayor who are paid on a per diem basis for attendance at regularly scheduled meetings and hearings.  During Fiscal Year 2016, the CSC Chair was paid up to $449 per day, and the other two Commissioners who held office throughout that year were paid up to $412 per day.

In the Comptroller’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2016, the CSC reported expenditures totaling $780,992.  Of that amount, $722,259 (92.5 percent) was for personal services and $58,733 (7.5 percent) was for other than personal services.

We conducted this audit to determine whether the CSC maintains reliable and effective internal control systems over cash receipts, expenditures, and inventory as required by New York City Comptroller’s Directives and other applicable City rules and policies.

Audit Findings and Conclusions

We found that the CSC did not maintain accurate and complete inventory records because it did not consistently update its inventory records to account for newly-acquired office equipment and tag it, and conduct periodic inventory counts.  Specifically, the CSC did not include 34 pieces of office equipment including computer monitors, telephone headsets, and microphones on its inventory list, and it did not tag 33 of the 34 pieces of equipment.

In addition, we found that the CSC did not segregate the duties for purchasing goods and services and maintaining inventory records among its staff.  It also charged purchases to incorrect object codes, and did not document policies and procedures in writing and effectively communicate them to staff.

Audit Recommendations

To address these issues, we make seven recommendations to the CSC including that the CSC should:

  • Tag and inventory all office equipment with a useful life of more than one year as required by the Department of Investigation’s (DOI’s) Standards for Inventory Control and Management.
  • Conduct periodic inventory counts, document results of counts, and update inventory records, as needed.
  • Segregate the duties for ordering, approving, and certifying receipt of goods and services; maintaining inventory records; and approving payments.
  • Charge purchases to the correct object code in accordance with Comptroller’s Directive #24, Agency Purchasing Procedures and Controls.
  • Document policies and procedures in writing and communicate them to staff including, but not limited to, policies and procedures for timekeeping and payroll, inventory, and procurement.

Auditee Response

In its response, the CSC generally agreed with the report’s recommendations.  The CSC stated, “[w]e have made every effort to comply with your recommendations” and described actions taken to address six of the report’s seven recommendations.  The CSC did not address the report’s remaining recommendation to carefully review its prior and current Comptroller’s Directive #1 Agency Evaluation of Internal Controls submitted to the Office of the Comptroller and the Mayor’s Office to ensure their accuracy in all respects.