An audit released by City Comptroller Scott Stringer Thursday found the Department of Homeless Services didn't properly manage contractors it hired following Superstorm Sandy, even paying for work outside the scope of their agreements.
Stringer's report analyzed 20 emergency contracts DHS set up with vendors for services for displaced New Yorkers including help with home repair, securing permanent housing and applying for public benefits.
The comptroller said the agency didn't demonstrate proper supervision over those contracts, which totaled $19.9 million, and paid for services that were never received.
"There is no excuse to say Sandy prevented them from doing oversight," he said.
Stringer said the agency failed to provide evidence that it kept its contracts on deadline and didn't properly log the activities of its vendors. The report said some of these vendors weren't properly screened and in one case, the city paid $28,000 for cleaning services that were done after the contract ended.
The audit recommended that the agency define its future policies when it comes to overseeing contracts, set up minimum requirements for emergency contract managers to log their activities and interview clients to analyze their satisfaction with the services.
A DHS spokesmansaid the agency will look at the audit and recommendations but added the "findings are relatively minor, when compared to the herculean response" it executed following the Oct. 29, 2012 storm.
"The DHS leadership is committed to improving our services at all levels, including our response to emergencies," the agency said in a statement.