Multiple Unit Audits involve looking into
the activities of a multiple number of local government entities
selected either from across the State or within a specified geographic
area. Statewide and regional audits can help point out for consideration
significant policy and operational issues common among many local
governments that share similar characteristics.
Both BOCES have been generating significant and growing surpluses because they routinely overbill for CoSer services, and regularly have priced CoSer services higher than necessary to cover CoSer costs. We found that BOCES set tuition rates using historical enrollment rates rather than current year enrollment projections from districts. Additionally, BOCES do not make mid-year pricing adjustments based on actual program participation that would reduce overbilling. As a result, BT BOCES' surplus grew 45 percent (from $7.3 million to $10.5 million) and OU BOCES' surplus rose 141 percent (from $3.8 million to $9.1 million) between 2006-07 and 2008-09. We found that school districts served by BT and OU BOCES do not include significant surpluses, which averaged $500,000 per participating district in 2008-09, on their financial statements because neither BOCES provides individual districts with an estimate of their surplus refunds until mid-way through the next fiscal year. Finally, BT BOCES accumulated unreserved fund balance from one CoSer in violation of Education Law, and incorrectly reported these monies on its financial statements.
BOCES Treatment of the Annual Surplus From CoSer Operations[complete audit - pdf] Read Related Letters to:Broome-Delaware-Tioga BOCES [pdf] | Orange-Ulster BOCES [pdf]
Segregation of Duties
The Consortium Treasurer's cash disbursement duties are not adequately segregated. In addition to receiving and paying claims invoices, the Treasurer records those transactions and maintains custody of all Consortium cash assets. She also executes all electronic transfers of Consortium moneys. Although the Administrator verifies the activity listed in each month's bank statement, this will detect issues only after they arise. Further, the Administrator is an employee of the law firm, whose salary is paid through the claims audit process, thus providing an interest in the claims he is reviewing. Finally, because the Treasurer does not maintain Consortium cash records, Consortium officials were unable to verify that the cash balances per the bank statements were accurate. In fact, the Treasurer could not provide us with any cash records to verify that cash was properly accounted for. This is a significant deficiency, being that the Consortium is responsible for safeguarding over $95 million in Participants' contributions.
Broome-Tioga-Delaware County Health Insurance Consortium[complete audit - pdf]
Use of New York State and Board of Cooperative Educational Services Contracts
We found that the districts did optimize the use of OGS and/or BOCES contracts to procure goods and services in a cost-effective manner. We reviewed the purchases of 20 goods and services totaling $11.76 million during our audit period and found that the districts used OGS contracts (34 percent) or BOCES contracts (45 percent) for 16 purchases totaling $9.29 million (79 percent). The districts generally procured the remaining 21 percent of these purchases, totaling $2.47 million, by using a competitive bidding process, obtaining quotes prior to making the purchase, or, for some items (e.g., textbooks, software), purchasing from a sole source provider.
Selected Central New York School Districts'[complete audit - pdf] Read Related Letters to:Central Square [pdf] | Jamesville-Dewitt [pdf] | Oneida [pdf] | Oswego [pdf] | West Genesee [pdf] | Whitesboro [pdf]
The Law and regulations exist to ensure that consumers can rely on the accuracy of vendor scales and other weighing and measuring devices, and can expect to pay advertised prices for their purchases. However, two of the six counties we audited did not comply with inspection requirements, and three counties failed to perform any price accuracy tests; therefore, consumers in some counties have little assurance that the goods they buy are correctly weighed or accurately priced. Counties can do a better job of protecting consumers by maintaining up-to-date inventories of retail businesses for both inspection and price testing purposes, and by documenting inspection and test results. It is also important that counties maintain complete records of the complaints they receive, and the actions they take to address them, so consumers can be confident that their concerns are investigated and resolved.
Consumer Protection: Accuracy of Weights and Measures[complete audit - pdf] Read Related Letters to:Broome County [pdf] | Clinton County [pdf] | Dutchess County [pdf] | Ontario County [pdf] | Schoharie County [pdf] | Tompkins County [pdf]
Claims Processing in the Western Region of New York State
We reviewed all 166 claims, totaling $19.3 million, generated by these 21 projects and found that all payments made for these claimed expenses were for appropriate highway-related projects costs and were made in accordance with project specifications. As a result, taxpayers have assurance that ARRA funds are being used to pay for legitimate highway project costs.
Federal Stimulus Program[complete audit - pdf]
We found that Court personnel in the Town of Phelps managed their Court well. However, we identified deficiencies in depositing, reconciling, or reporting of Court moneys in the other three Courts. The Justice in one Court told us that he performed monthly bank reconciliations, but he had no records to document that he had performed reconciliations or accountability analyses. Court personnel in the other two Courts did not deposit approximately $31,345 in a timely manner, did not perform monthly reconciliations of bank to book balances, and did not maintain accurate bail listings. Justices in the same two Courts had not properly segregated incompatible duties or established adequate procedures for reviewing the Court clerks’ work. One of these Courts also was late in filing the monthly report to the JCF in 22 instances.
Internal Controls Over Selected Justice Courts’ Financial Activities[complete audit - pdf] Read Related Letters to:Town of Junius [pdf] | Town of Phelps [pdf] | Town of Romulus [pdf] | Town of Tyre [pdf]
We found that the six counties generally used reasonable measures to ensure they saved money on nursing home drug purchases. The two counties that used bulk purchase methods to obtain their nursing home prescription drugs made economical purchases. Of the four counties that procured drugs from vendors on an individual prescription basis, we found that Suffolk County, which obtained a vendor using a request for proposals (RFP) process, and Livingston County, which used competitive bidding, paid less than the State contract prices for 90 percent and 57 percent, respectively, of the 30 drugs we tested. The other two counties paid slightly more than the OGS contract prices. We estimate that Onondaga County, which obtained its vendor using an RFP process, could have saved about $10,600, while Rensselaer County could have saved about $43,500 on total drug expenditures in 2009 by purchasing from the OGS contract.
Saving Money on Nursing Home Drug Purchases[complete audit - pdf] Read Related Letters to:Livingston [pdf] |
Monroe [pdf] |
Onondaga [pdf] |
Rensselaer [pdf] |
Rockland [pdf] |
Suffolk [pdf] |