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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Poughkeepsie – Financial Operations (2012M-38)


Released: September 6, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine internal controls over the Town’s financial operations for the period January 1, 2010, through July 31, 2011.

Background

The Town of Poughkeepsie is located in Dutchess County and serves approximately 43,000 residents. The Town is governed by the Town Board which comprises the Town Supervisor and six Board members. The Town’s 2010 and 2011 budgeted appropriations for all funds were approximately $62 million and $63 million.

Key Findings

  • The Town is in poor financial condition. The Town has experienced unplanned operating deficits in its general town-wide, general town-outside village and highway town outside village funds that caused a decline in those funds balances from $77,501 in 2008 to ($1,533,316) at the end of 2010. As a result, the Town had cash flow problems that were addressed by interfund loans, mostly from the water fund, to pay for recurring expenditures.
  • The Town’s certified public accountant (CPA) did not report financial activities for each major fund separately as required by GASB.
  • Town officials did not obtain RFPs for professional services totaling $1,924,386. In addition, the Board did not enter into written contracts with six of the providers who received payments totaling $549,015.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop reasonable revenue estimates, and monitor and adjust budgeted revenues if it becomes clear that the anticipated results will not be achieved. Adopt a policy and Town officials should establish procedures to govern the unexpended surplus funds that the Town should maintain. Develop a plan to address the negative fund balances from prior fiscal years. Repay interfund advances between tax bases, with comparable amounts of interest, by the end of the fiscal year in which the advances are made.
  • Ensure that the CPA provides financial statements that include separate reporting for major governmental funds in accordance with GASB requirements.
  • Comply with the Town’s procurement policy by obtaining RFPs for professional service contract amounts in excess of $15,000. Enter into written contracts with all current and future professional services vendors.

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