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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Dover – Financial Activities (2013M-139)


Released: August 30, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review internal controls over selected financial activities for the period January 1, 2011, to October 22, 2012.

Background

The Town of Dover is located in Dutchess County and has a population of approximately 8,700. The Town is governed by the Town Board, which comprises four elected members and an elected Town Supervisor. Total budgeted expenditures for the 2012 fiscal year were approximately $4.4 million.

Key Findings

The Board needs to improve its oversight of key financial activities and ensure that applicable laws and best practices are followed to help ensure that Town resources are adequately safeguarded.

  • The Tax Collector did not deposit and remit tax payments within the timeframes required by law, and the Supervisor did not ensure that the bookkeeper maintained timely and accurate records and bank reconciliations. Further, because the Board did not audit the books and records of the applicable officials, these and other deficiencies were not detected.
  • The Board did not properly audit claims and failed to use competition when procuring professional services, increasing the risk of wasting taxpayer money.

Key Recommendations

  • Remit real property tax payments to the Supervisor weekly until the Town warrants have been satisfied. Perform bank and cash reconciliations monthly to compare bank balances to balances in their respective ledger or general ledger cash accounts.
  • Conduct an annual audit of the records and reports of all Town officers and employees who received or disbursed money during the preceding fiscal year.
  • Conduct a thorough and deliberate audit of claims for payment against the Town before they are paid, ensuring that each claim has sufficient supporting documentation and represents a valid Town expenditure.

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