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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Elmont Public Library – Board Oversight and Professional Services (2014M-060)


Released: July 11, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if the Board provided adequate oversight of the Library’s financial operations for the period July 1, 2011 through April 30, 2013.

Background

The Elmont Public Library (Library) is located in the Town of Hempstead in Nassau County, and is governed by a seven-member Board of Trustees (Board), each of whom is elected by the Elmont Union Free School District voters. For the 2012-13 fiscal year, the Library’s budgeted appropriations totaled $3,240,092.

Key Findings

  • The Board does not audit and approve claims before they are paid from the administrative checking account (ACA).
  • The Board authorized the Library Director and an administrative assistant to manage this account, sign checks and pay vendors before submitting claims to the Board for audit and approval. The Treasurer does not have access to or custody of the funds maintained in the ACA.
  • The Board inappropriately delegated the Treasurer’s functions to an independent contractor, who did not take an oath of office and is being paid through a claim voucher rather than through the payroll system. Without having taken an oath of office, the Treasurer does not have the authority to sign checks on the behalf of the Library.
  • The Library’s procurement policy requires the use of a request for proposal (RFP) process only when the services or the individual who had been providing the service had changed, rather than requiring Library officials to solicit competition at reasonable intervals.

Key Recommendations

  • Audit and approve all claims prior to payment, except as otherwise provided by law.
  • Ensure that all Library funds are in the custody of the Treasurer and that the Treasurer signs all disbursement checks, after audit and approval of the claims by the Board.
  • Ensure that the Treasurer meets all the requirements of a Library officer, including filing an oath of office, being compensated through the payroll and having appropriate payroll deductions withheld.
  • Revise the Library’s procurement policy to require Library officials to periodically procure professional services through a competitive process.

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