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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 Webster – Board Oversight and Selected Financial Activities (2012M-110)


Released: October 19, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if the Board provided adequate oversight of the Village's financial operations and review selected financial activities for the period June 1, 2010, through February 16, 2012.

Background

The Village of Webster is located in the Town of Webster in Monroe County and has approximately 5,400 residents. The Village is governed by a Board of Trustees which comprises four elected Trustees and an elected Mayor. Budget appropriations for the general and water funds in 2011-12 were approximately $3.3 million funded primarily by real property taxes, State aid, fees, and sales taxes.

Key Findings

  • During the beginning of our audit period, the Board did not provide sufficient oversight of the Village's financial operations. Specifically, the Board had not established an effective system of internal controls, adopted policies required by sound business practices, received sufficient or reliable financial information to monitor the Village's financial operations, audited individual claims, or formally approved all employee pay rates and benefits. Consequently, the Village made inappropriate and questionable payments including approximately $15,084, for employees' tuition, fees, books, and a trip to Miami to attend classes that were not made in compliance with the Board's policy.
  • The Village made 22 payments for unused leave time totaling $37,352 that were unauthorized and/or not properly approved.
  • The former Treasurer did not maintain accurate and timely financial records. Beginning in April 2011, the Board and Village officials started to implement various improvements to address their own concerns and other weaknesses identified during our initial risk assessment.

Key Recommendations

  • Establish written policies for Village operations, related to cash receipts/disbursements, budgeting, payroll/maintenance of leave records, and information technology. Audit and approve all individual claims prior to payment. Formally authorize and approve all salaries and wage rates, and employee benefits, for all Village officials and employees.
  • Ensure that the Clerk maintains accurate leave records and obtains appropriate approvals, in accordance with Village policies, before the Treasurer makes payments for unused accrued leave.
  • Maintain adequate, timely, and reliable financial records and reports.

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