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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 Hoosick – Board Oversight and Internal Controls Over Information Technology (2012M-15)


Released: May 4, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the Board's oversight of the Town's financial operations and internal controls over information technology for the period of January 1, 2010, to August 31, 2011.

Background

The Town of Hoosick is located in Rensselaer County. The Town Board comprises four elected council members who each serve a term of four years, and an elected Town Supervisor who serves a term of two years. The Town's 2011 annual budget included appropriations of $1.68 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board needs to improve its oversight of Town operations. The Board allowed appropriations to be overspent in the general fund by $220,000 in 2009 and in the town-wide highway fund by $212,500 and $195,000 in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
  • The Board has not developed long-term financial and capital plans for the Town, which compromises the Town's current and future financial stability.
  • The Board has not ensured that the bookkeeper's duties were adequately segregated or that timely bank reconciliations were prepared, and has not conducted an annual audit of the records and reports of all Town officials who receive and disburse cash.
  • Town officials did not develop a disaster recovery plan and have not adopted policies and procedures for proper data backup, data storage and remote access.

Key Recommendations

  • Closely monitor the Town's annual budget and ensure that expenditures are limited to available appropriations.
  • Develop comprehensive multi-year financial and capital plans to establish the goals and objectives for funding long-term operating and capital needs.
  • Segregate, when practical, the duties performed by the bookkeeper. If that is not practical, the Board should take a more active role in oversight of the Town's financial records. Ensure that all Town bank accounts are reconciled monthly and conduct an annual audit of the records and reports of all Town officers and employees who received or disbursed money during the preceding fiscal year or hire an independent auditor to conduct the audits.
  • Adopt a comprehensive disaster recovery plan and a comprehensive data back-up policy and related procedures. Adopt policies and procedures for granting and monitoring outside users' remote access.

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