Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the audits of the Village of Alexandria Bay, Parishville Fire District, Redwood Fire District and the City of Rensselaer.
"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 Alexandria Bay – Board Oversight and Internal Controls Over the Clerk Treasurer's Records and Reports (Jefferson County)
The board failed to properly segregate the duties of the clerk-treasurer or establish compensating controls. The board did not monitor the village budget or provide for the statutorily required audit of the clerk-treasurer's financial records. The clerk-treasurer does not maintain an appropriate and complete set of accounting records or account for each operating fund separately. The clerk-treasurer also did not prepare monthly financial reports, and failed to prepare and file annual financial reports as required by law.
Parishville Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (St. Lawrence County)
The board has not adopted purchasing and investment policies or a code of ethics. At the monthly board meetings, the secretary-treasurer provides the board with a verbal report of the district's bank balances; however, he does not provide periodic written financial reports showing cash balances or budget vs. actual results. The secretary-treasurer has not filed an annual financial report since 2002. The secretary-treasurer has also been withholding Social Security and Medicare taxes from his salary since he took office in 2003 but has not reported or remitted these taxes (including the District's share) to the Internal Revenue Service. Based on his annual salary from 2003 to 2010 ($3,750 to $4,000), auditors estimate the district withheld about $2,350 for these taxes from his pay.
Redwood Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Jefferson County)
The board needs to improve its oversight of the district's financial activities. Although the board has adopted investment and procurement policies, it does not periodically review and update these policies. Additionally, the board has not adopted a code of ethics as required by law. The secretary-treasurer has not filed an annual financial report since 2001. Each month, the secretary-treasurer provides the board with a check detail report and budget vs. actual report for revenues and expenditures, but does not report cash balances to the board.
City of Rensselaer – Audit Follow Up (Rensselaer County)
The purpose of this review was to assess the city's progress, as of August 16, 2011, in implementing recommendations from four audit reports released in 2009 and 2010. Based on the auditors’ limited follow-up procedures, it appears that the city has made extremely poor progress in implementing the recommendations. Of the 34 recommendations made in the four audit reports, city officials had fully implemented only six. City officials partially implemented nine recommendations, and failed to implement 19 recommendations.