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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

City of Kingston – Internal Controls Over Payroll (2012M-159)


Released: January 31, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review internal controls over payroll for the period January 1, 2011, to January 31, 2012.

Background

The City of Kingston is located in Ulster County and has a population of approximately 24,000. The Common Council, which comprises 10 elected members, is the legislative body responsible for setting the City’s governing policies. In 2011, the City had 364 employees and payroll expenditures totaled $17.6 million.

Key Findings

  • City officials and Department administrators need to improve internal controls over the City’s time and attendance procedures and leave accruals. We found errors in 63 percent of the accrual records we tested.
  • Five people received payments totaling about $23,200 that they were not entitled to because of these insufficient internal controls. Included in that amount, former Chief Salzmann received $5,558 and former Chief Rea received $16,656 that we believe they were not entitled to.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop comprehensive policies and procedures to address the maintenance of leave time records and ensure that accurate information for time accruals is maintained, monitored and periodically reconciled by someone independent of the record maintenance function.
  • Establish internal control procedures to ensure that leave accrual payments are made in accordance with applicable collective bargaining contracts, employment agreements or City Council action. Pay for unused leave time only after proper approval and verification of accrual balances based on adequate supporting records.

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