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DiNapoli launches new fraud detection training initiative for not-for-profits

by jmaloni
Tue, Feb 28th 2012 04:10 pm

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced a new training program for not-for-profit officials to help them prevent and detect fraud and protect taxpayer dollars.

"New York not-for-profits manage billions of dollars. They contract with the state and other local governments to provide crucial services to New York families," DiNapoli said. "This training course will strengthen their financial management practices and ability to detect and prevent fraud."

The program includes case studies of actual fraud uncovered by state auditors and simple fraud detection tools to assist not-for-profits of all sizes. Taught by state forensic auditors in DiNapoli's office, the program also provides a risk assessment model to help identify the most cost-effective ways to fight waste, fraud and abuse, and meets continuing professional education requirements for eligible accountants.

The first training will be held at the Long Island Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Adelphi University in Garden City on March 1 at 8:30 a.m. A seminar will also be held in Buffalo on March 16 at 8:30 a.m. at the Meals on Wheels Community Learning Center in conjunction with the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. Additional sessions will be scheduled around the state.

"Bad things can happen to good organizations," said Ann Marie Thigpen, executive director of the Long Island Center for NFP Leadership. "It is critical to protect, as best we can, our organization's mission and integrity along with our stakeholders' trust. Thanks to the comptroller's office, we now have a resource for learning how to ensure that systems and practices are in place to minimize the opportunity for those dishonest few who prey on the good work that we do."

DiNapoli's office is responsible for reviewing and auditing not-for-profit contracts awarded through state agencies. In 2009-10, DiNapoli met with not-for-profit leaders throughout the state about challenges they were facing in light of the severe national recession. His office also looked at the economic impact of not-for-profits in the state and made recommendations for reforming and modernizing the contracts and payment process. This new training, developed in collaboration with not-for-profit organizations around the state, will help protect limited resources.

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