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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 Oxford – Justice Court Operations (2013M-219)


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

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Justice Court’s financial operations for the period June 1, 2011 through April 30, 2013.

Background

The Village of Oxford is located in the Town of Oxford in Chenango County and has a population of approximately 1,450. The Village is governed by a Board of Trustees which comprises four elected members and an elected Mayor. The Court reported collecting $177,800 during our audit period.

Key Findings

  • The Justices did not ensure that Court moneys were accounted for properly. We found numerous errors and irregularities, from adjudicating traffic tickets to recording, collection and deposit and in reporting to the Justice Court Fund (JCF) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For example, $1,325 in collections was recorded with no corresponding deposits; 10 cases totaling $2,520 were reported to the DMV as paid, with no related records of receipt or deposit; and we identified a $3,500 shortage in the Court account of Justice Race (retired), of which $2,300 in bail had been forfeited during our scope period but not deposited or remitted to the JCF.
  • Over 903 tickets with outstanding fees on record at the DMV were not current in the Court’s records and, therefore, represent significant unrealized revenue.
  • The Justices did not prepare monthly accountabilities, which could have identified these discrepancies.
  • Although the Board engaged a CPA firm to annually review certain Court activities, these reviews were on average five months late and the Board did not fully understand the deficiencies reported or take any corrective action until recently.

Key Recommendations

  • Reimburse the amounts the accounts are short and bring the records and reports up-to- date. Properly record tickets issued and moneys received and deposited to ensure that each ticket is adjudicated and has an associated payment deposited in the bank or that it is being pursued for payment.
  • Reconcile the manual system for pursuing unpaid tickets to their software system and to the DMV database. Consistently enforce unpaid tickets.
  • Perform monthly bank reconciliations and monthly accountabilities.
  • Provide greater oversight of the Justices and implement the CPA firm’s recommendations to prevent further errors or irregularities.

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