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February 25, 2011


Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the audits of the Village of Speculator, the Village of Island Park, the Village of Greenport, the Village of Alfred and the Town of Highlands.

"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 Speculator, Internal Controls Over Cash Receipts at Oak Mountain Ski Center (Hamilton County)
Regarding Oak Mountain Ski Center, the village board has not established written procedures to create individual accountability, or provided sufficient oversight over employees and volunteers who receive cash on behalf of the village. In addition, the amounts collected are not reconciled to daily sales reports, or to the amounts of cash, checks and credit card receipts deposited. There is also unrestricted access to the safe. Cash collected Friday through Sunday is transported to a residential location until being deposited on Monday. Due to these control weaknesses, money stored in the safe was stolen and not recovered, and it is impossible for village officials to determine if all sales receipts collected are accounted for.

Village of Island Park, Financial Condition and Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Nassau County)
Village officials did not develop structurally balanced budgets and underestimated appropriations for public safety, transportation, and general government support. The unrealistic budget estimates and insufficient monitoring of financial operations contributed to ongoing fund balance deficits. Village officials also improperly transferred moneys from the capital projects fund which the depleted general fund could not repay as required by law, creating a general fund liability that has remained on the books since the 2005-06 fiscal year. Auditors also found that the village paid six professional service providers during the audit period without soliciting competitive proposals. Finally, village management did not ensure that unused leave accrual balances complied with the village's employment agreement.

Town of Highlands, Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Orange County)
Auditors found that the board did not provide proper oversight over the town's operations. Consequently, numerous control deficiencies occurred, such as the failure to record deposits and the failure to seek competition for tipping fees for garbage disposal and professional. Furthermore, monthly and annual financial reports were not prepared and there was no annual accounting to the board for any of the seven departments that received or disbursed moneys on behalf of the town.

Village of Greenport, Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Suffolk County)
DiNapoli's auditors found that cash received at the village's ice rink and campground was not safeguarded because written policies and procedures for controlling and accounting for cash were not in place. As a result, the village had no assurance that it received all the cash collected from these activities. In addition, auditors found that the village did not request formal proposals for professional services from four providers. They also found that the board did not conduct a proper review and audit of claims before they are paid, and did not require the use of purchase orders. There were also weaknesses discovered in the village's information technology internal controls.

Village of Alfred, Controls Over Parking Tickets (Allegany County)
The board has not adopted policies and procedures for parking ticket operations. Auditors identified weaknesses in the controls over the collection, deposit, reconciliation, and enforcement of parking ticket fines. The village did not participate in the DMV's program for scoffing unpaid violations. By participating in the DMV's scofflaw program the Village has a potential for increasing parking fine revenues.


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