Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I-Schoharie), ranking member of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, is standing by the findings of a report by the comptroller’s office that found 68 percent of spending within the 21 contracts audited by the Comptroller of the Farm-to-School program's 45 total contracts either lacked sufficient documentation to support expenses paid or was not authorized under the contract. The report recommended developing new policies and procedures to provide guidance on what documentation must be retained for contract reimbursement and monitoring of contract terms and conditions. The report also recommends the state take action to recover the $1,169,243 in unsupported, insufficiently supported, and unauthorized program reimbursements.
“The Farm-to-School program performs a vital function in bolstering New York state agriculture and the health and wellness of our students, and I support the comptroller’s recommendations to ensure funds allocated to this program are being used as intended,” said Tague. “The program is one I would like to see more schools participate in throughout the state, but, in doing so, it is critical to make necessary adjustments to management and oversight practices that will ensure every dollar earmarked for this program goes toward getting fresh New York foods into schools.”
The comptroller’s office report is attached.