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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts


Town of Berkshire – Justice Court Operations (2016M-425)


Released: March 3, 2017 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the internal controls over the Court’s financial activity for the period January 1, 2015 through August 25, 2016.

Background

The Town of Berkshire is located in Tioga County and has a population of approximately 1,400. The Town, which is governed by a five-member elected Town Board, maintains a Justice Court, which has one appointed Justice. Two Justices served during our audit period: one Justice served from the beginning of our scope period through December 31, 2015 and a newly appointed Justice took office January 1, 2016. The Court reported collecting approximately $6,800 in fines and fees from January 2015 through July 2016.

Key Findings

  • Neither Justice properly pursued collections for those cases where defendants failed to appear in Court, and these outstanding tickets equate to approximately $33,000 in unearned revenues for the Town.
  • The current Justice did not record new cases in the accounting software.
  • The current Justice did not always deposit money in a timely manner.

Key Recommendations

  • Pursue unpaid traffic tickets in a timely manner.
  • Obtain training related to DMV reports and the accounting software, particularly related to recording cases in the accounting software.
  • Deposit all money collected 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