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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Comsewogue Public Library – Cash Disbursements and Procurement (2013M-316)


Released: January 31, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the Library’s controls over cash disbursements and procurement for the period July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013.

Background

The Comsewogue Public Library, located in the hamlet of Port Jefferson Station in Suffolk County, is governed by a Board of Trustees which comprises five elected members. Expenditures for the 2012-13 fiscal year totaled $5.1 million.

Key Findings

  • Disbursements totaling more than $1.3 million were made prior to Board approval. Had the Board authorized the payment of certain allowable claims pre-audit, more than $1.2 million of these claims would not require prior Board approval.
  • The Treasurer does not sign all checks to pay claims. Rather, the Board authorized that supplemental warrant checks need only one signature.
  • The Board also did not provide guidance for goods and services not required to be competitively bid. Therefore, all 35 claims totaling $163,960 were acquired either without obtaining competition or the Board approved the purchase without the required documentation of competition attached to the claim.
  • Library staff did not seek competition when selecting four of five professional service providers who received payments totaling $54,885.
  • The Library did not enter into a written agreement with two of the four professional service providers who received payments totaling $33,750.

Key Recommendations

  • Audit and approve all claims, other than those exceptions authorized by resolution and allowed by Law, prior to having the Treasurer pay the claims. Establish a proper resolution that allows the Treasurer to pay claims for allowable exceptions under Law prior to audit by the Board if it intends to permit such disbursements.
  • Sign all checks that are disbursed by the Library.
  • Revise the adopted purchasing policy to include guidance for procuring those goods and services which are not legally required to be bid, including the procurement of professional services.
  • Enter into written agreements with all professional service providers.

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