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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of New Scotland – Internal Controls Over Transfer Station Collections (2012M-45)


Released: August 17, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the internal controls over transfer station collections for the period January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2011.

Background

The Town of New Scotland is located in Albany County. The Town Board is comprised of four elected council members and an elected Town Supervisor. For the 2011 fiscal year, the Town's budgeted expenditures were $5.4 million for the general and highway funds.

Key Findings

  • Over the four years 2008 through 2011, the Town received average annual transfer station revenues in excess of $28,000. The Board has not adopted cash collection policies and procedures for operations of the transfer station that residents use to dispose of various materials for established fees. Prior to February 1, 2011, there was no documented proof (receipts) of the transfers that highway personnel received from the station attendants. Prior to August 2011, there was no inventory of duplicate receipts issued, receipt numbers were not tracked, and reconciliations were not performed. Similarly, the issuance of permit stock was not documented, and there was no inventory of permits on hand, issued, and sold. Our test of eight months' transfer station activity which included 57 transactions totaling $14,280 found that all tested receipts were recorded in a timely manner and all deposits were intact and timely. However, we found a number of errors and discrepancies.
  • Even though the Town has made procedural changes that improved accountability over cash, it could improve controls over cash collections, the inventory of cash receipts and permits, and the physical security of unused receipts and permits.

Key Recommendations

  • Provide oversight for the collection of transfer station fees or implement compensating controls to ensure collections agree with deposits and receipts are issued sequentially.
  • Establish a comprehensive transfer station cash receipts policy that communicates the duties, records, and procedures required for ensuring that cash transactions are properly recorded, processed, and accounted for.
  • Maintain an accurate inventory of all receipt forms and permits on hand and issued.
  • Ensure that undeposited cash is secured until deposited, and that unused permits and blank receipts are stored in a secured, locked 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