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July 28, 2009

 

DiNapoli's Office Completes Local Government Audit

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the City of Utica – Financial Controls in the City Comptroller’s Office and Information Technology.

“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.”

City of Utica – Financial Controls in the City Comptroller’s Office and Information Technology
The comptroller had not adopted comprehensive written policies and procedures to provide guidance and internal controls for payroll processing, claims processing, wire transfers and cash receipts. This resulted in a lack of segregation of financial duties and a lack of compensating controls over certain key aspects of the city’s financial operations. For example, the comptroller did not adequately segregate duties over payroll or provide adequate oversight. Also, the city’s internal controls system did not provide an independent claims audit function, nor did it provide for the adequate segregation of duties. City officials had not designed adequate internal controls over wire transfers. With respect to cash receipts, auditors found that cashiers in the comptroller’s office were able to change the effective date of the tax receipts in the financial system to avoid recording a penalty for payments received after the penalty free period. Finally, city officials had not sufficiently addressed the safeguarding of computer data to ensure proper protection.

Click here for a copy of the audit. If you have any questions or would like a comment from the Comptroller’s office regarding this audit, please call 518-474-4015.


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