The State Comptroller said Monday that the State Health Department needs to clean up its act when it comes to paying its bills on time.
According Tom DiNapoli's office, the health department paid $1.3 million in late payment penalties in 2012.
The Comptroller says the law requires agencies to pay their vendors on time, adding that late fee payments are a waste of taxpayer money.
For its part, the health department says if the audit is accurate, that amount is less than one-half of 1 percent of all its payments, stressing that the agency is on time 99 percent of the time.
Other state agencies combined for about $500,000 of late payments this fiscal year.
The total late fees cost the state almost 40 percent more then the previous year.