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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 Rouses Point – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (2011M-232)


Released: January 27, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Village's internal controls over selected financial operations for the period June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2011.

Background

The Village of Rouses Point (Village) is located in the Town of Champlain in Clinton County. The Village is governed by a Board of Trustees (Board) which comprises four elected Trustees and an elected Mayor. The Village's budgeted appropriations for the 2010-11 fiscal year were approximately $8.7 million, funded primarily with real property taxes and water, sewer, and electric charges.

Key Findings

  • Village officials did not comply with competitive bidding requirements or use State contract options when procuring goods and services totaling $251,445 from four vendors, and as a result, paid $1,200 more than necessary for two vehicles.
  • The Board did not properly authorize capital and community development projects (projects), monitor them to ensure that project funds were expended as authorized, and formally close out completed projects.
  • The Treasurer did not maintain individual accounting records for each project, and commingled the financing sources from all projects into the Village's multi-fund checking account.
  • Village officials were unaware that the community development fund had a deficit of $175,843, and therefore, cannot repay the advances that have been informally made to the fund. When the general fund is charged to eliminate the deficit, it will negatively affect the Village's financial condition.

Key Recommendations

  • Obtain competitive bids for purchase and public work contracts in accordance with the provisions of General Municipal Law. Investigate the cost effectiveness of available State contract options and purchase through State contractors when appropriate.
  • Adopt a resolution at the inception of each project that identifies the project, authorizes the maximum estimated cost, and establishes how the project will be financed. Prepare and use financial reports to ensure that funds are available and expenditures are kept within the limits of the project's authorization. Adopt a resolution to close projects upon their completion.
  • Maintain individual accounting records for all projects and ensure that funds related to those projects are properly segregated.
  • Develop a plan to eliminate the $175,843 deficit in the community development fund.

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