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February 11, 2010

DiNapoli’s Office Completes Local Government Audits

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the audits: Village of Bronxville – Internal Controls Over Purchasing, Town of Elizabethtown – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations, and Public Authority Board Member Compensation.

“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 Bronxville – Internal Controls Over Purchasing – The board adopted a purchasing policy that does not require use of competitive methods or outline procedures for acquiring professional services. The policy states that the acquisition of professional services, unless directed by the board, requires no solicitation of proposals or quotations. DiNapoli’s auditors found that the village did not solicit competition, such as a request for proposal (RFP), or provide adequate documentation of actions taken when procuring six of the 10 professional services vendors, who were paid approximately $332,000 during our audit period. Auditors also found that village officials did not always comply with the village’s policy and obtain the required number of quotes or proposals when procuring products and services. Auditors examined payments to seven vendors totaling approximately $51,000 that required quotes or proposals. Five of the seven purchases or services, totaling approximately $44,000, were procured without soliciting the required quotes or proposals.

Town of Elizabethtown – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations – Internal controls were not established to ensure the town’s financial activity was accurately recorded and reported on a timely basis. The bookkeeper attempted to keep track of town finances, but lacked the training and experience to adequately do so. As a result, financial operations were deficient because the supervisor failed to maintain complete and accurate financial records and did not submit, along with other officers and employees of the town, his records to the board for the required annual audit. The lack of complete and accurate accounting records limits the board’s ability to make informed financial decisions and the lack of board oversight exposes town assets to the risk of fraud and abuse without detection by town officials. Finally, internal controls over fuel inventory and usage were not appropriately designed to adequately safeguard the Town’s fuel. Neither the Superintendent nor the golf course manager maintained adequate inventory records.

Public Authority Board Member Compensation – We found that 75 percent of the authorities we examined compensated their board members appropriately. Ten of these authorities were not authorized to compensate their board members, and they did not. Of the five that could compensate their board members, three provided compensation within statutory limitations and two chose not to provide compensation. However, DiNapoli’s auditors found that the remaining 25 percent of local public authorities audited were providing compensation, including fringe benefits, which exceeded authorized amounts by $244,278. Three water authorities and one housing authority failed to consider the value of the board member’s fringe benefits, such as health insurance, in determining the total amount of compensation paid to each board member. Additionally, one housing authority failed to pay the compensation of its board members; these board members were inappropriately compensated by the town in which the authority is located. Not only did the town inappropriately compensate the authority’s board members, but it also provided them with compensation, including fringe benefits, that was well beyond statutory limitations.

Click here for a copy of the audit and related letters to municipalities.

If you have any questions or would like a comment from the Comptroller’s office regarding these audits, please call the Press Office at 518-474-4015, or send an email to

Click on the links above for copies of the audits.


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