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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 Wethersfield – Town Clerk and Highway Operations (2013M-21)

Released: May 17, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]


Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Town’s internal controls over selected financial operations for the period January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2012.

Background

The Town of Wethersfield is located in Wyoming County. The Town is governed by an elected Town Board, which consists of the Town Supervisor and four council members. The 2012 budgeted appropriations were $315,802 for the general fund and $743,523 for the highway fund.

Key Findings

  • The Clerk’s cash receipts records were unreliable. The Clerk did not make deposits and remit moneys to appropriate agencies in a timely manner. Further, the Clerk did not adequately account for dog licenses issued.
  • The Board did not adopt a procurement policy and the Highway Superintendent did not routinely obtain quotes prior to purchasing goods and services.
  • The Board did not provide an adequate review of claims prior to approving them for payment, which resulted in over $14,000 in duplicate/over payments to four vendors.
  • Highway Department inventory records for consumables such as fuel and auto parts were not adequate. Because of the Highway Superintendent’s lack of controls over the Town’s fuel inventories, we could not determine if 5,000 gallons of unaccounted-for fuel, valued at $15,000, was unauthorized usage or if the usage was for appropriate Town purposes and merely not recorded in the records.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that all fees collected are recorded accurately and deposited in a timely manner. Make remittances to the State, County and Town in a timely manner. Monitor unpaid dog licenses and report any unpaid fees to the Animal Control Officer for enforcement.
  • Adopt a purchasing policy, as required by law. Ensure that the Highway Superintendent complies with its adopted procurement policy.
  • Conduct a proper audit of claims prior to approving them for payment. Promptly contact the vendor for a refund of duplicate payments.
  • Maintain accurate perpetual fuel inventory records and periodically reconcile them to physical inventories. Periodically review the fuel reconciliations and other fuel records maintained by the Highway Superintendent.

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