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August 13, 2013

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

 

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Town of Alexandria, Village of Bolivar, Town of Coldspring, City of Glens Falls, Grahamsville Fire District, Town of Kendall, Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library, Roosevelt Fire District, Schuyler County and the Steuben County Soil and Water Conservation District.

“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."

Town of Alexandria – Non-Payroll Cash Disbursements and Fuel Inventory (Jefferson County)
The town’s non-payroll cash disbursements were not always properly authorized, adequately supported or in compliance with statutory requirements. The former supervisor improperly paid 20 claims totaling $19,919 without the audit and approval of the board. Auditors also found internal controls over fuel inventories need to be improved. Records show from June 2011 through December 2011 nearly 4,500 gallons of fuel valued at about $14,600 were not accounted for.

Village of Bolivar – Financial Condition of Water and Sewer Funds (Allegany County)
The village board has not adequately monitored the financial condition of the water and sewer funds. The water and sewer funds do not presently have sufficient resources to repay interfund loans owed to the village general fund without affecting their operations. This lack of available funds resulted from village officials not monitoring and adjusting water and sewer rates to ensure resources were adequate to repay the loans.

Town of Coldspring – Town Clerk Operations (Cattaraugus County)
The town clerk did not issue press-numbered duplicate receipts for cash collected, accurately record all transactions, remit moneys due to the town supervisor and other entities in a timely manner, or deposit cash receipts intact or in a timely manner. Auditors found a shortage in the clerk’s account totaling $1,400 which is primarily due to money owed to the town supervisor, unrecorded checks, and unpaid liabilities.

City of Glens Falls – Financial Condition (Warren County)
The city council adopts realistic budgets, and along with the mayor and city controller, continually monitors the budgets throughout the year and will initiate and approve any necessary budget amendments. Although the city is not considered to be in fiscal stress at this time, low levels of unexpended surplus funds in the general fund and declining balances in the water and sewer funds are concerning. City officials indicate they are carefully monitoring the funds.

Grahamsville Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Sullivan County)
The district board has not properly developed annual budgets. From 2009 through 2011, actual expenditures exceeded budget estimates each year by an average of 22 percent. In addition, the district has not formally established reserve funds and has not adopted formal policies on how they are to be funded and how they will be used.

Town of Kendall – Justice Court (Orleans County)
Auditors found significant control deficiencies with the justice court’s operations. Justices did not ensure that all court fines, fees, and surcharges were properly accounted for. Although monthly reports were submitted to the justice court fund in a timely manner, they were not always complete and accurate. Further, the justices did not ensure that cases were properly reported to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library – Claims Processing (Suffolk County)
Library officials have established adequate controls over the claims processing function that allow claims to be audited in a timely manner and ensure the claims are properly supported. The account clerk and/or director reviews invoices for department head approvals before printing checks and a schedule of claims to present to the board, which then audits the claims before signing the checks. Finally, the claims auditor performs a post-audit of the claims paid.

Roosevelt Fire District – Financial Operations and Information Technology (Nassau County)
The district board needs to improve its oversight of financial operations. Auditors found the treasurer submits monthly financial reports to the board that contain incomplete information, and the district’s financial records have not been audited by an independent public accountant since the 2010 fiscal year. In addition, internal controls over information technology are not appropriately designed or operating effectively.

Schuyler County Sheriff’s Department – Payroll, Civil Fees and Bail (2013M-120)
The county entered into an improper contract for security services with Watkins Glen International (WGI), a private entity. Over the last two years, the county has paid 351 individuals $233,840 for providing law enforcement services to WGI in connection with events at the Watkins Glen racetrack. In these cases, the county improperly pays these individuals as if they were independent contractors by check based on completed vouchers and issues them an IRS 1099 form at the end of the year. As a result, no taxes are reported or withheld, and no information is reported to the state retirement systems.

Steuben County Soil and Water Conservation District – Internal Controls Over Cash Receipts and Disbursements (2013M-97)
The conservation district board has not adopted policies and procedures for cash receipts and disbursements to ensure that cash is properly safeguarded. Auditors found 116 receipts totaling $47,443 were not deposited on a timely basis, 14 disbursements totaling $23,943 never appeared on a warrant for board approval, and 151 disbursements totaling $532,322 cleared the bank prior to the board’s audit and approval for payment.


For access to state and local government spending and more than 60,000 state contracts, visit http://www.openbooknewyork.com/. The easy-to-use website was created by Comptroller DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.

 

 

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