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July 14, 2010



DiNapoli's Office Completes Audit of Town of Lansing

Officials in the Town of Lansing held prohibited interests in firms doing business with the town, according to an audit released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. DiNapoli’s auditors also found that board members did not properly separate financial duties or implement compensating controls over cash disbursements and payroll processes.

“Conflicts of interest and improper payouts create an unnecessary cloud over any town board,” DiNapoli said. “My audit found only minor discrepancies in the payment records here, but there’s a risk that errors and other irregularities could go unnoticed in these circumstances. The board should follow the law and the town’s code of conduct to ensure that Lansing’s taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.”

DiNapoli’s auditors found that while the town adopted a Code of Ethics, it did not establish adequate procedures to prevent conflicts of interest. The town supervisor and the deputy town supervisor had prohibited interests in contracts with companies with which the town did business.

During the audit period, the town paid more than $87,500 to these two companies combined. Additionally, DiNapoli's auditors found that town officials did not properly segregate duties or implement compensating controls over cash disbursements and payroll processes. The senior account clerk performed all duties in the disbursements process. The bookkeeper performed all duties in the payroll process and, prior to the audit, the senior account clerk and the bookkeeper used the supervisor's rubber signature stamp to sign town checks.

Officials generally agreed with DiNapoli's findings. A full copy of the audit can be found here: http://osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/towns/2010/lansing.pdf.

If you have any questions or would like a comment from the Comptroller’s office regarding this audit, please call Bill Reynolds at 518-474-4015 or send an email.

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