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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

City of Syracuse – Internal Controls Over Time and Attendance of the Citizen Review Board (2012M-48)


Released: June 8, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the City's internal controls over time and attendance of the Citizen Review Board (CRB) office for the period July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2011.

Background

The City of Syracuse is located in Onondaga County and has approximately 145,000 residents. The Common Council, which comprises 10 elected members, is the legislative body responsible for setting the City's governing policies. The Mayor is the chief executive officer. The CRB's budgeted operating expenditures were approximately $102,000 for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The City's system of time and attendance controls over CRB office employees is not adequately designed or operating effectively. The City has informal policies and procedures for time and attendance and it relies on departments to maintain and verify employee time records. The City's payroll and personnel department has limited involvement in the verification of time reported by departments.
  • There is a strong indication that the Administrator spent a significant amount of time conducting private legal work during the City's normal business hours.
  • The Administrator, possibly with the knowledge and consent of the CRB's Chairman and Vice Chair, used City computers in the conduct of her private law practice, despite the City having adopted a formal computer use policy to help prevent use of public property for private purposes.

Key Recommendations

  • Establish appropriate written policies and procedures to provide clear and consistent guidance on time and attendance and the maintenance of leave records.
  • Clarify the role of the City and the CRB Board as it relates to the time and attendance of City employees working in the CRB office.
  • Ensure that computer usage by City employees is in compliance with the City's established policy.

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