New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says SUNY's 29 state-operated colleges are doing a better job of reporting crimes on and around their campuses, but there is still more work to do. DiNapoli's office recently released an audit regarding the Clery Act, which he says was a follow up to an audit performed in 2008.
Four schools, including Buffalo, Stony Brook, Farmingdale and Morrisville received on-site audits. DiNapoli says of the 29 colleges audited, 15 had reporting errors, ranging from liquor and drug referrals to crimes like sexual offenses, burglaries and weapons violations.
"We're going to keep an eye on the schools to remind them of the importance of having complete internal reporting, and then for the information that they disclose to the public, for there to be consistency and for there to be transparency," DiNapoli said. "So again, basically we've seen improvement in their reporting, but because this is a very key and a very sensitive issue, we want to see that they do a better job."
The comptroller says the colleges that do the best jobs are more diligent with verifying numbers and get to the bottom of discrepancies a little more quickly.
"I think some of it is a very basic element of training," DiNapoli explained. "Making sure the personnel that are in charge of compiling the statistics understand what it is they have to report, how to properly code it, and how to ensure that it is consistent with the guidelines that are spelled out from the federal government."
The comptroller says his office suggested SUNY provide its colleges with checklists for their annual security reports, and make sure the people in charge of compiling the statistics understand what they have to report and how to code it.