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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 Saugerties – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (2011M-283)


Released: May 18, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review selected financial activities of the Town for the period January 1, 2010, to March 2, 2011.

Background

The Town of Saugerties is located in Ulster County and has a population of 19,500. The Town Supervisor serves as the Town's chief executive officer. The Town Board is composed of the Supervisor and four Board members. The 2010 budget for all funds was approximately $12.3 million.

Key Findings

  • Town officials do not maintain an inventory of computer assets, or a list of system users and their access abilities. In addition, there is no policy to notify affected individuals if their personal information is compromised, and system users visit non-Town business sites such as those for social networking, motorsports, guns and shopping.
  • Although there are three Court clerks, their accounting duties, such as collecting cash, recording transactions and making deposits, overlap. Despite this lack of segregation of duties, there are no compensating controls such as the verification or records to duplicate receipts and no Court personnel perform monthly accountabilities.
  • Department heads did not solicit required competition, and claims were not audited by the entire Board as required, resulting in claims that lacked original receipts and evidence that the goods and services were received.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt a policy to ensure responsible personnel maintain complete and up-to-date inventory records for the computers and IT-related assets that are in use, including the significant applications installed, and a list of all users, including their access abilities. Adopt an information breach notification policy. Establish procedures to ensure all system users comply with the acceptable-use policy.
  • Segregate the duties of the Court clerks so that no one person collects cash, records transactions, and makes deposits. Review monthly cash book records and certify the month end reports, including the verification to original dockets, duplicate receipts, or other hard copy support generated during court proceedings. Ensure that monthly accountabilities are performed and available cash reconciles with liabilities.
  • Develop procedures to ensure that procurement policy requirements are met. Conduct a thorough and deliberate review of each claim prior to payment.

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