Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits
State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Town of Southampton – Financial Condition and Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations and Village of Whitesboro – Financial Condition and Internal Controls Over Conflicts of Interest.
"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 Southampton - Financial Condition and Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Suffolk County)
DiNapoli’s auditors found that the town’s financial condition was generally positive. The total fund balance for all operating funds was up more than 22 percent from the town’s 2010 operating budget. However, auditors identified five operating funds that carried a combined deficit of $8.1 million. Town officials were also unable to maintain adequate cash flow in several town funds, thereby requiring the use of interfund advances that have not been repaid. Auditors examined two of the town’s capital projects and found that officials made payments that were not related to the projects’ purposes. These projects were also over-expended and claim vouchers were not maintained to support payments. Auditors also found that officials did not solicit competitive proposals prior to awarding contracts and gave users more access to certain computerized applications than required. The town also has no formal data disaster recovery plan or written security plan in place.
Village of Whitesboro - Financial Condition and Internal Controls Over Conflicts of Interest (Oneida County)
The village board overestimated revenues by a total of $1 million over the past five years, and appropriated more fund balance than was actually available. Consequently, the village incurred operating deficits in the general fund for fiscal years 2005-06 through 2008-09. The village’s unreserved fund balance declined during 2004-05 to a deficit as of May 31, 2009. As a result, the village had to rely on short-term borrowing to address cash flow problems and increased taxes by 50 percent in the 2010-11 budget to help resolve the deficit. Additionally, the former mayor, as sole owner of an equipment repair shop, had a prohibited interest in seven contracts with the village.