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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Norwich – Justice Court (S9-14-03)


Released: August 15, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if Court officials properly collected, reported and remitted moneys on behalf of the Court for the period January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2013.

Background

The Town covers 42 square miles and has approximately 3,800 residents. The Town Board, comprising a Supervisor and four Board members, is the governing body responsible for overseeing the Town’s financial activities, including the Court’s general management and financial operations. The Court’s 2013 budgeted appropriations were $32,500. During the audit period, the Court operated with one Justice, James Fox, and two part-time Court clerks. According to the Court’s System, the Court collected 1,924 payments totaling approximately $155,600 in fines, surcharges and fees from January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013.

Key Findings

Based on our testing, we found the Court has properly collected and remitted moneys received. However,

  • The Court is not reporting unresolved traffic tickets to the State’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in a timely manner.
  • Deposits are not being made within the required 72 hours.
  • The Court’s information technology system (System) allowed changes and deletions to information without accountability and there was a lack of monitoring of the System’s user transactions.

Key Recommendations

  • Periodically review and reconcile the DMV pending-ticket log with caseload activity to ensure that tickets are properly reported, as paid or enforced, in a timely manner.
  • Deposit all receipts collected within 72 hours.
  • Assess the risk areas in the Court software, such as an inadequate audit trail and insufficient automated controls.

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