Hevesi’s Enterprise Fraud Legislation Passes New York State Assembly Unanimously

Earlier this week, the New York State Assembly voted 144-0 to pass A.5056, also known as the “Enterprise Fraud” bill. Authored by Assemblyman Hevesi in cooperation with the Office of the State Comptroller, the Enterprise Fraud bill is a first of its kind, multifaceted piece of legislation that, once enacted, will save New York State taxpayers millions of dollars by utilizing real time data analytic tools to target waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer money.

Entities involved in committing fraud and abusing state government programs have become increasingly sophisticated in their schemes and tactics, often working in organized and collusive rings or networks to attack any and all government programs. While state agencies have attempted to combat these behaviors on their own, they are severely outmatched in their efforts as they are required to bilaterally focus on their full time responsibilities as well as fraud prevention.

The Enterprise Fraud bill will authorize the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) to implement an enterprise fraud prevention program using electronic data analytics for the purpose of preventing improper payments, fraud, waste, and abuse throughout state government. The program would require that all state agencies, including public authorities, provide OSC with access to pertinent real time, regular and periodic electronic data, while still complying with all applicable federal and state laws to ensure the safety and security of shared information. By streamlining the fraud prevention efforts of multiple agencies and data sources into one single agency, the state will be able to more efficiently utilize data to detect various forms of financial mismanagement and fraud in its earliest stages.

The enterprise fraud program will be paid for within the limits of OSC’s current budget, with conservative estimates projecting that the program will save the state and its taxpayers millions of dollars when enacted. OSC is constitutionally required to audit all vouchers before payment and supervise the accounts of public corporations & authorities. Over the last four years, the Comptroller’s office has identified more than $100 million in fraud, waste and financial abuse with its pre and post audit function alone. This translates into a return on investment as high as $200 to every $1 spent to stop fraudulent activity. By allowing OSC to examine multiple state agencies and their respective programs (worker’s compensation; Medicaid; unemployment insurance; employee benefit programs, etc.) in real time, the enterprise fraud prevention program will save large sums of taxpayer money.

“Working with the Office of the State Comptroller over the last several years, we have created legislation that will save the state and its taxpayers millions of dollars by greatly reducing fraud and abuse across state government,” said Assemblyman Hevesi. “I am encouraged that every Republican and Democrat in the State Assembly voted for this bill and I look forward to the Senate and Governor following that action in short order.”