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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 Monticello – Board Oversight (2013M-226)


Released: February 14, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the oversight provided by the Board for the period August 1, 2011 through March 14, 2013.

Background

The Village of Monticello is located in the Town of Thompson in Sullivan County. The Village is governed by the Board of Trustees which comprises an elected Mayor and four elected Trustees. The Village’s annual budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year was $11.9 million.

Key Findings

The Board did not properly oversee Village operations.

  • The full Board did not audit all claims, which totaled approximately $19 million, as required, to ensure that moneys were not used for non-village purposes.
  • The Board also did not ensure that Village officials maintained accurate and up-to-date accounting records and, therefore, did not receive timely and accurate reports. Such reports were needed to determine the Village’s financial position and to make sound financial decisions. As a result, the Village is experiencing cash flow issues, and received notices regarding insufficient funds totaling over $147,000 for Village bank accounts. Village officials do not know the amount of cash available to fund operations, the amount owed to the Village for real property taxes, or the Village’s overall fiscal health.
  • Village officials are not ensuring they are receiving all money that is due the Village – in fact, real property tax or utility payments and/or penalties totaling more than $40,000 were not collected, including $213 for six accounts belonging to Village officials.

Key Recommendations

  • Become much more involved in management and oversight of Village operations and model an appropriate leadership model.
  • Audit and approve all claims prior to payment, and ensure that disbursements are made by the Treasurer only after such approval.
  • Gain a full understanding of the Village’s current financial position and closely monitor the Village’s fiscal health. Require monthly bank reconciliations and budget-to-actual statements and use them to continually monitor financial operations of the Village. Require the Treasurer to ensure all accounting records are up-to-date and accurate, and that timely and accurate bank reconciliations are prepared monthly.
  • Require Village officials to implement procedures to ensure all revenues for real property taxes and utility charges, including penalties, owed are billed and collected at the Board-established rates.

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