The state’s bill for interest on late payments in the 2011-12 fiscal year was $1.9 million, 38 percent higher than the previous year, according to state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. The Health Department was at the top of the list of late-paying state agencies with interest payments totaling $1.3 million, 130 percent higher than the 2010-11 fiscal year.
“State agencies should not waste taxpayer dollars making avoidable interest payments,” DiNapoli said in a statement.
Interest payments statewide were $526,400 more than the 2010-11 fiscal year, DiNapoli said.
Today’s announcement comes a week after DiNapoli released a report that found state agencies wasted $1.7 million in public money by not obtaining cash discounts on contracts. Some vendors that contract with the state offer discounts when agencies pay invoices within a month or 15 days. Agencies hadn’t taken advantage of the discounts since 2007.
DiNapoli said auditors from his office have saved the state $727,000 by accelerating agency payment requests. The state has to pay interest when payments are more than 30 days late.
These are the agencies that paid the most interest:
—Department of Health, $1.3 million
—State University of New York, $109,533, an increase of 35 percent over the 2010-11 fiscal year.
—Department of Transportation, $86,995
—Office of Mental Health, $57,770
—Education Department, $53,656
—Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, $41,917