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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

City of Rochester – Internal Controls Over the Procurement of Professional Services (2012M-93)


Released: August 3, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the City's internal controls over the procurement of professional services for the period June 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011.

Background

The City has approximately 210,000 residents and is located within Monroe County in western New York. The City is governed by the Mayor and the City Council, who are responsible for the legislative affairs of City government. The nine-member Council comprises the Council President, Vice President and seven Council members. The Mayor is the chief executive officer and administrative head of City government. The City's budgeted expenditures for the 2011-12 fiscal year were $467.1 million.

Key Findings

  • City officials did not obtain competition prior to awarding a construction contract totaling $600,000. According to the department head, it is normal procedure to contract with this vendor due to the nature of the services.
  • We identified five instances where the City Council approved ordinances authorizing contracts with not-for-profit entities for which one or more City Council members served as directors, officers or employees. While these interests are not prohibited, because there is a statutory exception for interests in contracts with voluntary not-for-profit corporations and associations, the Council members were required to disclose their interests in the contracts. We found no evidence of such disclosure in the City Council's proceedings.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt and implement policies and procedures for the procurement of professional services.
  • Ensure that Council members publicly disclose their interests in contracts in a timely manner and abstain from voting to authorize contracts in which they have an interest.

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