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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 Port Jefferson – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (2011M-187)


Released: January 20, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Village's system of internal controls over selected financial operations for the period June 1, 2009 through to August 31, 2010.

Background

The Village of Port Jefferson is located in Suffolk County. The Village is governed by a Board of Trustees which comprises four elected Trustees and the Mayor. For the fiscal year ended May 31, 2011, the Village reported expenditures of approximately $10.3 million.

Key Findings

  • The Village paid $691,584 to 13 vendors without soliciting competitive bids and paid $811,496 to 10 professional service providers without the benefit of seeking competition. Furthermore, officials did not always execute written contracts.
  • The individual named as the Village Assessor serves the Village as an independent contractor rather than as a public officer.
  • The Board does not audit claims and has not appointed anyone else to do so. We reviewed 15 claims and found all were paid without audit.
  • The Board also did not adopt written payroll policies and procedures, and it has not established a leave policy or entered into written agreements with appointed and supervisory employees. As a result, the value of the accumulated vacation, sick, and personal leave days was overstated by $190,849 because the leave records were not maintained in accordance with the contract. For example, one employee would have received $29,252 for unauthorized vacation leave upon separation from service.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that purchases and public work contracts exceeding the statutory competitive bidding thresholds are acquired through competitive bidding and use the competitive RFP process for procuring professional services.
  • Review with its counsel the Village's relationship with the individual named as the Assessor.
  • Audit all claims prior to payment or appoint someone to do so.
  • Establish a written policy for appointed and supervisory employees detailing how leave benefits are earned and accrued.

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