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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Village of Chester – Claims Processing (2012M-91)


Released: August 10, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the Village's claims processing transactions for the period June 1, 2010, to November 30, 2011.

Background

The Village of Chester is located in the Town of Chester, in Orange County, and has a population of approximately 3,970. The Village is governed by an elected Board of Trustees comprising a Mayor and four Trustees. The budgeted appropriations in the general fund were approximately $4.68 million for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The Board needs to improve its procedures for approving claims. The Board audited and approved 49 payments to four professional service vendors totaling $250,985 even though it did not have written agreements or Board resolutions to indicate the basis for compensation. Furthermore, some professional service providers submitted claims that were not itemized but were still approved for payment. For example, a consulting engineer was paid $10,350 based on a claim that lacked information as to the nature of the charge.
  • The Treasurer disbursed checks to three employees totaling $23,000 as part of a program whereby the Treasurer would hold moneys on their behalf. However, there was no legal authority for the Treasurer to run this program and the Board did not audit and approve the payments to verify that the employees were entitled to the payments.

Key Recommendations

  • Enter into written agreements or pass Board resolutions for each professional service vendor to indicate the basis for compensation. Approve for payment only adequately itemized claims against the Village.
  • Do not hold moneys on behalf of Village employees.

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