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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Binghamton – Selected Financial Operations and Information Technology (2012M-152)


Released: November 30, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review selected financial activities and IT for the period January 1, 2011, through February 13, 2012.

Background

The Town of Binghamton is located in Broome County and has a population of 4,942. The Town is governed by an elected five-member Town Board comprising the Town Supervisor and four Board members. The Town spent a total of $3.7 million for the fiscal year ended 2011.

Key Findings

  • The Supervisor did not design adequate controls and Town officials did not provide the proper oversight for the collection or disbursement of Town moneys. As a result,
    • The Town's youth recreation programs had recorded revenues far less than what we believe should have been charged and collected.
    • Adjustments were made to water and sewer bills without proper authorization, deposits of other cash receipts were not made timely.
    • Disbursements were made without adequate support and/or authorization.
  • The Board did not establish a written contract with the vendor who provides IT services to the Town.
  • The Town did not have procedures in place to monitor their computer use policy.

Key Recommendations

  • Require that the total recreation fees collected and deposited be reconciled with the aggregate program enrollment by someone who is not involved in the collection and/or deposit of those fees. Ensure that the duties performed by the Water and Sewer Clerk and the Bookkeeper and her Assistant are adequately segregated or put mitigating controls in place if segregation of duties is not feasible. Ensure that all non-payroll disbursements are approved by the Board and listed on a warrant with the actual check numbers used, which should be used sequentially.
  • Ensure that the Town has an approved, formal, written agreement with the third-party service provider that clearly defines the services and the related security to be provided to the Town.
  • Adopt a comprehensive IT policy that also addresses data back-up and disaster recovery, and develop procedures to monitor compliance with this policy.

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