Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nonprofits struggle without payments due to late state budget

The Poughkeepsie Journal reported that nonprofits that contract with the state are not getting paid because of the late budget, which is forcing some groups to consider suspending services temporarily or closing altogether, according to a new report from the state comptroller.

Aside from the late budget, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found that the state's track record of approving contracts on time has worsened. They were approved late 82 percent of the time in 2009, compared to 63 percent of the time the previous year.

The mid-Hudson region, which includes Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, Rockland and Westchester counties, had 591 late contracts in 2009 — the third largest number in the state. Only the New York City and Albany regions has had more late state contracts.

In Dutchess County, 68 state contracts were late in 2009, ranging from five days to 905 days late. In Ulster County, 53 contracts were late in 2009, according to the state Comptroller's Office.

Contracts worth $50,000 or more were approved late nearly 93 percent of the time, DiNapoli's report said. Of 6,318 such contracts, state agencies approved 5,844 of them an average of 152 days late in 2009. Their total value was $4.2 billion.

State agencies paid about $176,000 in interest to nonprofits for delays in processing contracts, an increase of 18 percent over 2008, DiNapoli's report found.

"The budget crisis is causing a financial crisis for not-for-profits. It's a double shot of trouble," DiNapoli said in a statement. "Contracts for services are being held up and organizations can't get reimbursed for services they have already provided. It's wrong to expect organizations that operate on shoe-string budgets to float the state." Read more here.