Audit shows $1.6M for senior meal services abused by vendors
Jan 15, 2018
Taxpayers shelled out $1.6 million in unnecessary payments to vendors who provided meals to seniors, according to a new audit.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said his auditors found that 80 out of 246 vendors served fewer meals in fiscal year 2016 than their contracts required — but were still paid as if they provided all the meals.
One senior center, Rosetta Gaston in Brooklyn, was reimbursed for 98 percent of its food costs while serving just 44 percent of the meals promised — a cost difference of $65,290.
DiNapoli’s office also found that some vendors were charging the city sky-high amounts for the food — including a half-dozen that billed more than $15 per meal and one that charged an average of $18.36.
Most vendors charged between $3 and $6 per meal.
DiNapoli said the findings demonstrate that the Department for the Aging needs to bolster its oversight of meal services.
Officials at the agency insist the $1.6 million covered higher food costs and other programming.