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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 West Winfield – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (2011M-252)


Released: February 17, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine internal controls over selected financial activities for the period June 1, 2009, to January 31, 2011.

Background

The Village of West Winfield is located in Herkimer County. The Village is governed by an elected Board of Trustees which is composed of a Mayor and four Trustees. The Village’s 2010-11 operating budget totaled about $542,000 for the general fund and $104,000 for the water fund.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not adequately segregate the Clerk-Treasurer’s duties and did not audit or contract for the audit of the Clerk-Treasurer’s financial records.
  • The Clerk-Treasurer did not maintain adequate and complete records and did not provide the Board with adequate monthly or annual financial reports.
  • The Board also needs to improve its oversight of the billing and collection of ambulance fees.
  • A Trustee is the sole owner and managing member of a fabrication/equipment rental limited liability company (LLC). During the Village’s 2010-11 fiscal year, the Village made payments to the LLC totaling $2,630. As the sole owner and managing member of the LLC, the Trustee is deemed to have an interest in the contracts because he is a member of a firm, partnership or association which has contracted with the Village. Because the Trustee, as a member of the Board, had the power to audit and approve claims for payment, that interest is prohibited.

Key Recommendations

  • Segregate the Clerk-Treasurer’s duties. Audit, or cause to be audited, the Clerk Treasurer’s financial records and reports on an annual basis, as required by Law.
  • Ensure that all Village financial transactions are properly recorded and reported. Provide the Board complete and accurate financial records on a monthly basis.
  • Establish written policies and procedures that provide guidance for the billing, collection and write-off of outstanding ambulance fees.
  • Establish and implement controls to help ensure that the Village does not enter into contracts in which an officer or employee has a prohibited interest.

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