Skip to Content

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 Springwater – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (2011M-195)


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

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the internal controls over selected financial operations for the period January 1, 2009 to June 23, 2011.

Background

The Town of Springwater is located in Livingston County. The Town is governed by an elected five member Town Board, which consists of the Town Supervisor and four council members. For the 2011 fiscal year the Town had budgeted appropriations of approximately $1.6 million.

Key Findings

  • The Town purchased property for almost $13,000 without the public’s knowledge, has not put this property into use for a Town purpose, and may incur additional costs to keep it.
  • Town officials also purchased a truck for $91,750, without ensuring that bid specifications solicited competition.
  • There is a lack of segregation of duties over the water and sewer billing and collections as the Superintendent performs all the functions of billing and collection process, with no oversight.
  • The Board has not established and adopted written policies and procedures governing the billing, collection, and enforcement of water and rents, establishing sewer charges, and billing adjustments.
  • The Town does not have a contractual agreement with the Firm performing accounting services for the Town.

Key Recommendations

  • Do not expend Town funds without a clear public purpose. Consult with the Town attorney in regard to the purchase of the land. If the payment was made inappropriately, recover the amount paid to the individual.
  • Ensure that bid specifications allow for competition.
  • Segregate the duties over the billing and collection of water and sewer rents.
  • Establish written policies and procedures to provide adequate guidance over the billing, collection, and enforcement of water and sewer rents.
  • Require a written contract with the accounting firm that outlines the services to be provided and the compensation to be paid.

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