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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Schoharie County – Stream Restoration Project and Contract Process (2015M-87)


Released: August 14, 2015 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine County officials’ oversight of the Stream Restoration Project and the overall contract process for the period January 1, 2013 through September 23, 2014.

Background

Schoharie County is located in central New York and has approximately 32,750 residents. The County is governed by a 16-member Board of Supervisors. The County’s 2015 budgeted general fund appropriations were $71.2 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not provide adequate oversight of the planning and execution of the Project and did not ensure that the Co-Managers properly monitored the Project. The Board did not always provide clear, written expectations, such as the authority granted the appointed Project Co-Managers, or their monitoring and interim reporting requirements for the Project.
  • The Board did not ensure that County contracts were properly approved, monitored and paid, and no procedures were taken to ensure the lowest possible cost was paid for 18 of 28 professional service contracts.

Key Recommendations

  • Create policies and procedures relating to monitoring projects, even if some oversight has been delegated, including ensuring work is performed in accordance with contracts prior to payment and reporting any variances to the Board in a timely manner; tracking the percentage of completion, calendar days and budget-versus-actual disbursements; and establishing clear communication expectations between project manager(s), contracted third parties and the Board.
  • Develop policies and procedures to ensure that department heads provide the Board and the Attorney with all contracts for review/approval, contracts are monitored and Department heads obtain the best economic value for professional services.

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