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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

City of Lockport – Financial Operations (2012M-68)


Released: July 20, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the financial operations for the period January 1, 2010 to February 29, 2012.

Background

The City of Lockport is located in Niagara County. The City is governed by a Common Council, which comprises seven elected members, including a Mayor. The City's general, water, and sewer funds' budgeted expenditures for 2012 total $31.5 million.

Key Findings

  • The Council, Mayor, and other City officials did not ensure that the standard elements of a strong internal control framework were in place, allowing inconsistent and isolated departmental processes without adequate controls, oversight, or communication.
  • City officials have not implemented policies and procedures for IT, including a computer use policy and adequate controls and restrictions over user access to computers, the financial system, and the Internet.
  • City management has not developed adequate procedures for data backup and storage, or a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.
  • The Fire Department has no written policies and procedures for fire prevention code inspections.

Key Recommendations

  • Improve the City's system of internal controls by conducting regular ethics committee meetings, and ensuring that the City's code of ethics is periodically reviewed and updated.
  • Establish policies and procedures for computer use and ensure that they are distributed to all appropriate City employees.
  • Establish policies and procedures for data backup and storage, and comprehensive guidelines for disaster recovery.
  • Develop and implement written policies and/or procedures for fire prevention code inspections.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236