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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 New Haven – Internal Controls Over Selected Town Operations (2012M-49)


Released: June 22, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the Board's system of internal controls over selected Town operations for the period January 1, 2010, through May 31, 2011.

Background

The Town of New Haven is located in Oswego County and has a population of approximately 2,860. The Town Board is responsible for the general management and control of the Town's financial affairs and the Town Supervisor serves as the chief fiscal officer. The Town budgeted $2.44 million for general, highway and special district expenditures in 2011.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not properly oversee the Town's financial operations. The Board did not receive or require interim budget-to-actual reports from the Supervisor to monitor the Town's financial operations or for use in the preparation of the budget as required.
  • The Board adopted similar budgets from year-to-year without sufficient adjustments based on historical data.
  • We found deficiencies including payment of claims prior to audit, lack of adequate support to demonstrate the payments were proper, lack of signatures acknowledging the receipt of goods and services and an improper payment of $2,500 to the New Haven senior citizens group.
  • Town officials did not maintain an inventory record for diesel fuel, reconcile usage logs to physical inventory levels or procure diesel fuel through a competitive process.
  • The Justices did not prepare bank reconciliations or accountability reconciliations of Court assets to known liabilities nor were moneys deposited in a timely manner.

Key Recommendations

  • Provide monthly detailed budget to actual reports of both revenues and expenditures to the Town Board in order to monitor the budget and be assured that appropriations exist to cover the claims against the Town.
  • Develop and adopt budgets that include realistic estimates for revenues and expenditures.
  • Perform a deliberate audit of all claims and ensure payments are not made to outside organizations without duly authorized contracts.
  • Develop written, comprehensive internal control policies and procedures for fuel inventories.
  • Perform monthly bank reconciliations and analyses of Court liabilities for comparison with available cash and deposit moneys in a timely manner.

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