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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Bedford – Selected Financial Activities (2011M-186)


Released: January 6, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the Town’s water district, Court operations and health insurance benefit costs for the period January 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011.

Background

The Town of Bedford is located in Westchester County, and serves approximately 18,000 residents. The Town is governed by a Town Board which comprises the Town Supervisor and four elected Board members. The Town’s 2011 budgeted appropriations for all funds were approximately $25.2 million. The Town’s Justice Court collected approximately $1,845,000 in fines from January 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011.

Key Findings

  • The Board has not established policies relating to the billing, collecting and accounting for water district rents. Town officials have not developed procedures to ensure that duties are segregated, customers are properly billed, and that collections are accounted for consistently and properly safeguarded. As a result, unpaid bills totaling $151,809 for 2009 and 2010 were re-levied on property taxes for fiscal years 2010 and 2011, respectively, without any penalties.
  • The Board and Justices did not ensure that the internal controls over Court operations were appropriately designed or operating effectively.
  • The Town overpaid 11 employees an extra $1,505 from January to March 2011 because they did not use the correct health insurance premium to compute the health insurance buyout incentive. If the calculation error is not corrected, the Town will end up overpaying the 11 employees an additional $6,021 for the remaining nine months of the year.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that the duties of the senior office assistant are segregated so that one person does not control all aspect of water billing and collections. Consider adopting an ordinance and imposing a fee for late payment of water bills.
  • Ensure that the Court’s monthly bank account reconciliations compare cash on hand and on deposit to detailed lists of outstanding bails and amounts due to others.
  • Ensure that all health insurance buyout payments are calculated as stipulated in the negotiated contract. Seek recovery of overpayments made to employees.

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