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April 14, 2011

 

DiNapoli's Office Completes Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the audits for the Village of Endicott, the Town of Trenton, the Smithtown Special Library District, the Village of Lancaster, the Village of Irvington, the Village of Centre Island, the Bellona Fire District, and an audit on Saving Money on Nursing Home Drug Purchases for various counties.

"My office's audits of local governments improve their financial management practices," DiNapoli said. "These audits are tools for local officials to make sure proper policies and procedures are in place to protect taxpayer dollars and provide the best possible service these taxpayer dollars can deliver."

Village of Endicott - Budget Review (Broome County)
Based on the results of their review, auditors found that the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the tentative budget were reasonable.

Town of Trenton -  Conflict of Interest and Internal Controls Over Community Education Program Cash Receipts (Oneida County)
The town supervisor did not post a copy of the General Municipal Law conflict of interest provisions in each of the town's buildings. As a result, town officers and employees may not be aware of their responsibilities regarding conflicts of interest. Auditors found that a board member had a prohibited interest in contracts with the town. As a 50 percent owner of an accounting/bookkeeping business this board member was paid $4,600 for bookkeeping services for the town during the audit period. In addition, town officials have not adopted formal procedures governing the Community Education Program's cash receipts.

Smithtown Special Library District - Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Suffolk County)
Auditors found weaknesses in internal controls over the library's payroll process relating to compensation provided to library employees for separation payments and leave time which resulted in the Library incurring over $21,000 in unauthorized expenses. In addition, internal controls over purchasing, claims processing and cash receipts need to be improved. The library also had not established adequate policies and procedures for computer data system security.

Saving Money on Nursing Home Drug Purchases
Auditors found that the six counties generally used reasonable measures to ensure they saved money on nursing home drug purchases. The two counties that used bulk purchase methods to obtain their nursing home prescription drugs made economical purchases. Of the four counties that procured drugs from vendors on an individual prescription basis, auditors found that Suffolk County, and Livingston County paid less than the state contract prices for 90 percent and 57 percent, respectively, of the 30 drugs tested. The other two counties paid slightly more than the OGS contract prices. Auditors estimate that Onondaga County, which obtained its vendor using an RFP process, could have saved about $10,600, while Rensselaer County could have saved about $43,500 on total drug expenditures in 2009 by purchasing from the OGS contract.

Village of Lancaster – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Erie County)
The board did not properly audit claims and village officials did not consistently comply with competitive bidding and purchasing policy requirements. Auditors found numerous deficiencies in the documentation and approval of claims and the purchase of goods and services.

Village of Irvington - Justice Court (Westchester County)
Auditors found significant weaknesses in the court's internal controls and a lack of oversight of the court's operations. The justices did not ensure that the Court Clerk reconciled bail bank account balances to individual bail book balances. The Court Clerk performed all of the key aspects of the court's cash accounting function with limited oversight, and the justices did not ensure that duties were adequately segregated. Further, the Court Clerk did not always make bank deposits or report relevant court transactions in a timely manner. In addition, the board failed to ensure outstanding parking tickets were collected and did not conduct the required 2010 annual audit of the court's records.

Village of Centre Island - Claims Processing and Payroll (Nassau County)
The board did not audit and approve claims prior to payment and has not established policies and procedures over the claims audit process. Auditors found that 97 of 99 checks issued during the 2008-09 fiscal year were cashed before they were approved by the board. From June 2009 through December 2009, the board reviewed only large, unusual, or non-routine payments and included them in the minutes of the board's proceedings as having been approved for payment. In addition, the village paid its former police chief $88,383 for accrued but unused leave time and benefits that was not documented. The village also did not have any board resolutions, employee contracts, or collective bargaining agreements to document the salaries and wages for four employees during the audit period.

Bellona Fire District - Board Oversight (Yates County)
The board did not properly oversee the district's financial operations. The board failed to adopt policies and procedures as required by law and good business practices. Furthermore, the board failed to complete the required annual audit of the treasurer's records and reports. As a result of the, it went unnoticed that the treasurer failed to complete and file an annual report as required by law for the past eight years.



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