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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

August 8, 2014, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Town of Candor, the Town of Cornwall, the LaGrange Fire District and the Middletown-Hardenburgh Fire District.

“In today’s fiscal climate, budget transparency and accountability for our local communities is a top priority,” said DiNapoli. “By auditing municipal finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively.”

Town of Candor – Fund Balances (Tioga County)
From fiscal years 2011 through 2013, fund balance available for use in each of the four major operating funds has either increased significantly or remained at a high percentage of the ensuing year’s budget. In addition, the board has not adopted long-term financial and capital/infrastructure plans to set forth the town’s objectives and goals. The board also has not established any policies or procedures to govern the level of fund balance to maintain for each fund.

Town of Cornwall – Financial Condition (Orange County)
The board routinely adopted budgets that did not provide sufficient revenues to fund expenditures and relied on fund balance to finance operations. As a result, fund balance declined in the general town-wide, highway town-wide, refuse and garbage, and water funds. In addition, the board adopted budgets that appropriated funds in excess of fund balance. The board has not developed a multiyear financial and capital plan to address the town’s long-term priorities.

LaGrange Fire District – Board Oversight (Dutchess County)
The board needs to improve its oversight, including establishing appropriate internal controls over district activities. The board inappropriately paid $990 to the board chair for service rendered, did not adopt written policies and procedures for cash receipts and disbursements, and did not adopt a travel policy. The board also did not properly monitor the life insurance benefits provided to members, resulting in the improper coverage of paid firefighters under the volunteer firefighters’ policy; did not have district financial records audited for 2011 and 2012 as required by law; and improperly retained an independent contractor to perform the duties of the treasurer without a surety bond or written contract.

Middletown-Hardenburgh Fire District – Cash Receipts and Disbursements (Delaware and Ulster counties)
The board’s policies and procedures are not sufficient to ensure that the treasurer properly records and reports cash disbursements and receipts. The treasurer prepares the bill packages and list of bills for board approval, records disbursements (including payroll), signs the checks and accurately reconciles the bank accounts. Additionally, the treasurer can perform transfers between the district’s banks with limited oversight and the board cannot be sure that there are no unauthorized disbursements. Auditors reviewed 19 cash receipts totaling $612,700 and found seven totaling $79,200 that were not deposited in a timely manner, up to six weeks after receipt.

 

 

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For access to state and local government spending and nearly 50,000 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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