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Office of the State Comptroller - Local Government & School Accountability
Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Elbridge – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (2011M-256)


Released: February 10, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the Town’s internal controls over selected financial operations for the period January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010.

Background

The Town of Elbridge is located in Onondaga County. The Town is governed by the Town Board, which comprises five elected members including the Town Supervisor. The Town’s budgeted expenditures in 2011 were approximately $1.91 million, funded primarily by real property taxes and State aid.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not implement adequate internal controls to ensure fuel was purchased in the most prudent and economical way. Town officials could have saved $9,500, or approximately 20 percent, if they had purchased gasoline and diesel from an OGS contract vendor.
  • The Supervisor did not have control over his facsimile signature and was not involved in the check-signing process. The Supervisor’s secretary used the Supervisor’s signature disk to make payments without his supervision.
  • Town officials have not implemented procedures to ensure that backup tapes are stored in a secure off-site location, and Town officials have not established formal policies or procedures to address potential disasters resulting in damages to equipment and data.

Key Recommendations

  • Purchase fuel in compliance with Town procurement policies and procedures and GML to ensure purchases are made in a cost effective manner.
  • Segregate incompatible duties in the cash disbursement functions.
  • Store backups of Town information at an environmentally and physically secure off-site location.
  • Adopt policies to address IT topics including: acceptable computer use, portable devices, back-ups, disaster recovery and information security breach notification.

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