Audits of Local Governments and School Districts
Town of Canton – Justice Court (2012M-117)
Released: November 16, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]
Purpose of Audit
The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the Court's recordkeeping and reporting procedures and to review the Court's internal controls for the period of August 1, 2010, to August 22, 2011.
The Town of Canton is located in St. Lawrence County. The Town is governed by the Town Board consisting of four Board members and a Town Supervisor. The Board provides general administrative services including the Town Justice Court. The Justices reported $160,520 in fines, fees, and surcharges to the JCF during the period of August 2010 to July 2011.
We found significant weaknesses in the Court's internal controls and a lack of oversight of the Court's operations by the Justices and the Board.
- The Justices have not ensured that the clerks performed bank reconciliations or accountability analyses to account for all Court funds.
- The clerks performed all of the key aspects of the Court's cash accounting functions with limited oversight, and the Justices did not ensure that clerk duties were adequately segregated.
- Justice Wheeler did not meet basic requirements when leaving office.
- Two Board members who conducted the annual audit of the Court's records noted bank reconciliations were not being performed, but the Board took no corrective action.
- Ensure that bank reconciliations and accountability analyses are properly performed on a monthly basis.
- Ensure that the Justices' policies and procedures address adequate segregation of cash custody and recordkeeping duties, or ensure that compensating controls are implemented such as supervisory or Board oversight.
- Ensure that a Justice who resigns his or her official position with the Town meets all requirements upon resignation.
- Address any issues identified during the annual audit of the Court's financial records.
Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:
Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236