Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz’s administration responded to the Erie County Comptroller’s Office Audit of the Department of Central Police Services’ (“CPS”) DNA Backlog Reduction Grant released on July 19, 2013 (“CPS Audit”).
In a letter authored by CPS Commissioner John Glascott, the administration criticized the Comptroller’s CPS Audit for asserting findings and observations that they failed to substantiate, and noted that the Comptroller violated Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (“GAGAS”) as required by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) and Section 1802(e) of the Erie County Charter.
The Glascott letter stated: “I am concerned by certain statements in the audit report which have no factual basis or insinuate things that are not accurate. At an exit conference on July 9, 2013, CPS and Budget staff questioned and refuted a number of the statements in the audit report for which the Comptroller’s Office provided no support. Despite this, the final audit report continues to make certain comments and observations which have no basis or proof.”
CPS also noted that at the exit conference, based on a lack of Comptroller proof to their insinuations, they agreed to amend their audit report but then failed to do so. This raises questions of the veracity and integrity of Deputy Comptroller-Audit Teresa Fraas who consistently contradicted herself during the audit. Commissioner Glascott noted that at one point, Ms. Fraas stated that CPS had done an “excellent job” and there were no findings of any significance, but then the audit report suggested otherwise.
Glascott continued, “Their [CPS Forensic Laboratory] work is constantly scrutinized by outside agencies at the Federal, State, and local levels and the laboratory is accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Director’s/Laboratory Accreditation Board and the New York State Commission on Forensic Science. The Comptroller’s Office has failed to demonstrate any issues or deficiencies in the procedures and handling of the grant. As such, I am forced to reject the Comptroller’s audit report.”
County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz noted, “I find it disappointing that the Comptroller’s Office made incorrect ‘observations’ in this report simply because they refused, or are unable to use the County’s personnel and payroll computer system to run reports and independently validate data. Additionally, the report claims there are opportunities for ‘process improvements’ at CPS, but when asked for some examples, the Deputy Comptroller could not provide a single suggestion. If, in the performance of an audit, you do not find any evidence of outstanding issues you state so, you do not manufacture issues to allegedly strengthen the critical nature audit. Because of the way in which this Audit was performed and the statements made that are without merit, it proves once again Mr. Mychajliw is more interested in manufacturing attacks on this administration than working on behalf of taxpayers to help improve County government.”
The Response Letter by CPS Commissioner Glascott to the CPS Audit: