Bureau of Audit
Audit Report On Department Of Youth And Community Development Oversight And Monitoring Of Beacon Centers
June 27, 2007
AUDIT REPORT IN BRIEF
Download the Complete Audit Report (pdf 359 kb)
This audit determined whether the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) maintained adequate oversight and monitoring of Beacon Program contractors to ensure contract compliance and provision of services.
DYCD is responsible for initiating and coordinating programs to meet the needs and foster the development of the City’s youth, families, and communities. The DYCD Beacon Program Contract Management Unit (Beacon Unit) is responsible for overseeing the 80 Beacon community centers that are situated within host schools scattered throughout the five boroughs and serve many in the City’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Beacons are school-based community centers where young people can go when school is not in session. The Beacon centers are operated by community-based organizations (CBOs) under contract with DYCD. The centers operate during non-school hours for a minimum of six days or 42 hours a week, in the afternoon and evenings, on weekends, during school holidays and vacation periods, and during the summer, and are expected to provide a combination of services and activities consistent with their respective neighborhood needs and interests.
Audit Findings and Conclusions
DYCD is not adequately providing oversight and monitoring of Beacon Program contractors to ensure that the contractors are providing services and activities to achieve their program goals, thereby complying with their contracts.
The six Beacon centers we visited provided activities and services to children and adults. Also, we determined that DYCD’s written contract monitoring policies and procedures generally conformed to key contract oversight and monitoring requirements established by Comptroller’s Directive #1 and Procurement Policy Board rules.
However, DYCD’s ongoing contract oversight and monitoring activities were deficient. The Beacon Unit did not fully comply with and carry out the DYCD oversight and monitoring procedural requirements, including those performed by contract managers and their supervisor. The Beacon contract managers did not conduct all required field visits and did not retain or complete all required documentation to evidence the conduct of field visits, nor did they maintain uniform work files of monitoring activities. Therefore, there was limited assurance that DYCD maintains and provides adequate oversight and monitoring of Beacon Program contractors. Moreover, we noted that DYCD did not perform the appropriate VENDEX contractor performance evaluations.
To address these issues, we make 10 recommendations. Among them, we recommend that DYCD should:
- Ensure that contract managers conduct all required field visits to the Beacon centers each year.
- Ensure that all Beacon Unit contract managers comply with DYCD contract oversight and monitoring policies and procedures to document and record field visits and other monitoring activities.
- Intensify its efforts to develop performance-outcome measures that are measurable and feasible and that do not rely exclusively on enrollment and attendance figures.
- Ensure that Beacon contractor-performance evaluations are completed for all contractors at least once a year and submitted in a timely manner to the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services for entry in VENDEX. Performance evaluations of terminating or expiring contracts should be conducted reasonably in advance of the contract’s termination or expiration to ensure entry in VENDEX.
DYCD generally agreed with the 10 recommendations made in this audit.