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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 Cheektowaga – Awarding Contracts for Goods and Services (2013M-293)


Released: April 18, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Town’s procurement process for the period January 1, 2010 through August 28, 2013.

Background

The Town of Cheektowaga is located in Erie County and has a population of approximately 88,000 residents. The Town is governed by an elected seven-member Town Board. For the 2013 fiscal year, the Town’s budgeted expenditures were approximately $86.7 million.

Key Findings

  • We reviewed five contracts with payments totaling $12.6 million and found that the Board did not properly award two of these contracts − for public works projects and sidewalk replacement services − that resulted in payments totaling more than $10.6 million to two contractors.
  • The Town also failed to properly monitor the services provided by three of the five contractors.
  • The Town also paid approximately $600,000 more than was necessary for sidewalk replacement. Further, because property owners are required to reimburse the Town for sidewalk replacement, a significant portion of this cost was borne by individual taxpayers.
  • The Town overpaid two vendors more than $100,000 for solid waste disposal and sidewalk replacement services.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that all contracts are competitively bid and properly awarded as required. Ensure that project requirements and costs are properly planned before bid specifications are prepared and contracts are awarded. Ensure bid specifications clearly communicate the quantity and nature of the work to be performed and the criteria used to award the contract.
  • Provide proper oversight of the Engineering Department, approve all project decisions, and monitor the work performed by contractors to ensure compliance with bid specifications.
  • Monitor project activity to ensure that projects are completed in a cost effective manner.
  • Determine whether to pursue recovery of all overpayments identified in this report after consultation with the Town Attorney.

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