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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Niagara Falls Housing Authority – Compensation-Related Payments to the Executive Director (2012M-199)


Released: January 18, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the Authority’s process for compensation-related payments to the Executive Director for the period January 1, 2010, to July 31, 2012.

Background

The Niagara Falls Housing Authority is a municipal housing authority created under the New York State Public Housing Law Section 415. The Authority Board consists of seven members. The Authority is a public corporation formed for the purpose of providing housing services in the City of Niagara Falls in accordance with the rules and regulations prescribed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Authority’s 2012-13 fiscal year budget was $6.9 million.

Key Findings

  • The Executive Director received $6,400 in improper stipends and sold more unused vacation leave than her employment contract allowed. She also has improperly accrued more vacation leave than authorized and without Board approval. This occurred because the Board did not provide sufficient oversight of the Executive Director.
  • We reviewed all the payments made to the Executive Director from January 1, 2010 to July 31, 2012 to ensure that they were accurate, supported and complied with her employment contract and/or the Authority’s personnel policy. We found that 70 payroll checks totaling $290,460 were paid in accordance with her contract. However, we found certain other payments that were improperly paid, not supported with appropriate documentation, and/or did not comply with the terms of her employment contract.

Key Recommendations

  • Clearly define in the Executive Director’s employment contract all compensation and benefits to be received. Ensure that the Executive Director is adhering to Authority policies and control procedures for compensation-related payments and leave benefit accrual and usage.
  • Improve oversight of the Executive Director by ensuring that all payments to her are periodically reviewed or audited. Recover any improper payments made to the Executive Director.

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