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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 Harmony – Justice Court (2014M-004)


Released: April 18, 2014 -- [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 December 24, 2013.

Background

The Town of Harmony is located in Chautauqua County and is governed by an elected five-member Town Board. The Town’s 2014 budgeted appropriations total $916,233.

Key Findings

  • Of the 21 monthly reports reviewed with remittances totaling more than $21,000, 19 reports with remittances totaling more than $19,000 were untimely.
  • 32 receipts totaling approximately $4,000 were deposited into the Justice’s bank accounts between two and 39 days late.
  • Neither the Justice nor the Court Clerk perform accountability analyses.
  • Board minutes indicate that the Justice’s records were presented to the Board for audit in December 2012 and that no errors or omissions were found. However, there was no indication of what the Board had reviewed.
  • We found that 10 of the 20 cases tested had been either dismissed or paid, and one case was still pending. The Justice could not provide us with any documentation for the other nine cases.

Key Recommendations

  • Submit monthly reports to the JCF by the tenth day of the succeeding month, as required.
  • Ensure that all money is deposited in a timely manner, as required.
  • Prepare a monthly accountability analysis for all moneys held by the Court. Any differences should be promptly investigated and, if necessary, corrective action taken.
  • Present records to the Board for audit. The Board should document its audit steps, results and required corrective action in the minutes of its proceedings.
  • Periodically review and reconcile DMV’s pending ticket log with caseload activity to ensure that tickets are properly reported as paid, or enforced in a timely manner.

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