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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 Dunkirk – Justice Court (2013M-106)


Released: June 28, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate internal controls over the Court’s financial operations for the period January 1, 2012, through March 15, 2013.

Background

The Town of Dunkirk is located in Chautauqua County and has a population of approximately 1,300 residents. The Town is governed by an elected Town Board which consists of the Town Supervisor and four Board members. The Justice’s principal duties involve adjudicating legal matters within the Court’s jurisdiction and administering moneys collected from fines, bails, surcharges, civil fees, and restitution.

Key Findings

  • The Justices, and the Court Clerk, did not prepare monthly accountabilities of Court assets and liabilities and former Justices did not properly close out their accounts. Our audit disclosed that one of the former Justices had a shortage of $1,026 and the other former Justice has unidentified funds of $699.
  • Pending tickets were not always enforced in a timely manner and dismissed tickets were not always reported to the JCF.
  • The Board did not conduct an effective audit of the Court’s records and did not properly segregate the Court Clerk’s duties or establish compensating controls.

Key Recommendations

  • Prepare an accountability analysis for all moneys held by the Court on a monthly basis.
  • Periodically review and reconcile Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) pending ticket log with caseload activity to ensure that tickets are properly reported as paid or enforced in a timely manner. Ensure that cases reported to DMV as disposed are also reported to JCF, as required, and that any related fines are remitted to JCF.
  • Conduct an effective annual audit of the Justices’ records. Work together to establish procedures to ensure an adequate segregation of cash custody and recordkeeping duties or institute compensating controls.

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