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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 Lysander – Selected Town Operations (2012M-112)


Released: September 28, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review selected Town operations including procurement of professional services, water operations and information technology (IT) for the period January 1, 2010 to October 31, 2011.

Background

The Town of Lysander is located in Onondaga County and has a population of approximately 22,000. The Town Board is the legislative body responsible for managing Town operations. The Town's operating expenditures for the 2011 fiscal year were approximately $5.85 million.

Key Findings

  • The Town's procurement policy does not require the solicitation of competition for the acquisition of professional services, unless directed by the Board. Consequently, Town officials did not solicit competition for the acquisition of professional services from 16 of 21 professionals who received payments totaling $1.8 million.
  • There were no written agreements to indicate the contract period, the services to be provided or the basis for compensation for payments made to six of the professionals totaling $383,858.
  • Town officials have not performed regular, periodic reconciliations to monitor the amount of water produced in comparison with the amount sold to customers. As a result, the Town had an unaccounted-for water loss percentage that was higher than the Federal Environmental Protection Agency established industry goal of 10 percent.
  • Internal controls over IT are not adequately designed.

Key Recommendations

  • Consider amending its procurement policy to require the solicitation of competition when professional services are procured.
  • Enter into written agreements with each professional service provider to clearly stipulate the contract period, the services to be provided and the basis for compensation.
  • Develop procedures to monitor water loss to ensure it is within industry goals, and periodically reconcile the amount of water purchased with the amount billed.
  • Regularly review and update all technology policies and procedures to reflect changes in the Town's technology environment and the outside computing environment.

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