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April 20, 2011

 

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits for the Rose Fire District No. 1, the New Castle Fire District No. 1, the Town of Goshen Justice Court, the Fancher-Hulberton-Murray Fire District, the Collins Fire District, the Village of Babylon, and Village the Hempstead.

"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."

Rose Fire District No. 1, Board Oversight (Wayne County)
The board allowed the district's annual financial report to go unfiled for four consecutive years and didn’t audit the treasurer's year-end financial records for the previous two years. While it is the treasurer's responsibility to file the annual financial report with OSC, it is the board's responsibility to ensure the duties of the treasurer are properly performed. The board also failed to adopt an investment or procurement policy as required by law.

New Castle Fire District No. 1, Board Oversight (Westchester County)
The board has not adopted a policy for electronic banking and the written agreement with the bank for wire transfers does not include necessary security measures. Consequently, no written approval is required to make wire transfers, and there is no independent confirmation for wire transfers made by the treasurer. Board members are not bonded even though they are signatories on the district's checks and can handle transactions at the bank. Auditors also found that the board does not enforce the procurement policy for goods and services that are not subject to competitive bidding.

Town of Goshen Justice Court, Internal Controls Over Financial Activities (Orange County)
The court's internal controls over cash receipts and disbursements were not appropriately designed or operating effectively. Neither justice performed monthly accountability reconciliations, nor did they report the correct collections to the JCF. Court officials did not make timely deposits or make a good faith effort to return exonerated bail. The justices did not reconcile their bail accounts and the clerk's duties were not adequately segregated.  The former clerk did not accurately record bail activity and the board did not conduct the required annual audit of the court's records.

Fancher-Hulberton-Murray Fire District, Controls Over Financial Activities (Orleans County)
The district does not have adequate financial policies and procedures in place. The board has not adopted purchasing, investment and code of ethics policies, as required by statute. The board also has not ensured that written procedures for financial recording and reporting were developed. Auditors found that the treasurer submitted monthly financial reports to the board and filed the required annual financial report for 2009. However, the board did not conduct an annual audit of the treasurer’s records. While board resolutions authorize the total amount of claims audited by the board, they did not identify which specific claims were reviewed and approved. Finally, the treasurer did not perform monthly bank reconciliations for the board.

Collins Fire District, Controls Over Financial Activities (Erie County)
The board has made efforts to assess and improve its internal controls. The board adopted appropriate policies for procurement, investment, travel and a code of ethics. The treasurer submitted adequately detailed monthly reports to the board and filed the annual financial reports for 2009 and 2010. However, the board did not conduct an annual audit of the treasurer's records as required by statute.

Village of Babylon, Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities and Information Technology (Suffolk County)
The board has not provided sufficient oversight of village financial operations. Auditors found weaknesses in internal controls over several aspects of village operations, including monitoring of the village's financial condition. The village experienced declining fund balances in its general fund because of poor planning for capital projects and the village's enterprise fund was not self-sustaining. The board adopted policies that require competitive bidding, but village officials did not always follow these policies. The village also needs to improve internal controls relating to information technology.

Village of Hempstead, Budget Review (Nassau County)
Based on the results of their review, auditors found that the significant revenue and expenditure estimates in the proposed budget were reasonable.


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