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July 3, 2012

 

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the audits of the City of Canandaigua, Village of Cobleskill and the Village of Manorhaven.

“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 Canandaigua – Procurement and Information Technology (Ontario County)
The city’s procurement policy was not reviewed by the council annually, as required by law, and was not adequate or up-to-date. Furthermore, the council did not adopt policies and procedures to address the proper use of the city’s purchase order (PO) system, or the authorized and documented use of city credit and procurement cards. In addition, city officials did not seek competition, such as using RFPs, when procuring nearly $165,841 in professional services from two vendors, and could not provide written agreements with six vendors. Auditors also found that city employees regularly circumvented the purchasing policy by using confirming POs and by making purchases with credit or procurement cards. Claims were also not being audited in accordance with the city charter.

Village of Cobleskill – Section 8 Housing Payments (Schoharie County)
The board and mayor are properly overseeing the administration of the Section 8 Housing Assistance Program (HAP) for Schoharie County. However, auditors found that a board member has a prohibited interest in a village contract. This board member owns at least one rental unit in the village and has entered into a HAP contract with the village.  The board member has an interest in the contract because he receives a monetary benefit as a result of the payments made pursuant to the HAP contract. Because the board audits HAP claims for payment, the board member has a prohibited interest in the HAP contract.

Village of Manorhaven – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Nassau County)
Employees did not maintain individual timesheets and management or a village official did not provide approval of the hours recorded onto the weekly timesheet prior to employees being paid. Additionally, the board has not established a policy to guide the overtime process. Auditors found discrepancies between the timesheet and the payroll register in 41 of 126 instances tested. They also found that the village did not obtain competition when procuring the services of seven of the eight professional services providers who were paid $155,000 during the audit period. Additionally, auditors found that the village has not adequately implemented internal controls over the audit, processing, and payment of credit card claims, which resulted in payments of $10,022 being made without receipts supporting the charges. Village officials have not adopted comprehensive IT policies and procedures regarding acceptable use standards for computer, remote access, breach notification and disaster recovery. Finally, internal controls over the court operations were not properly designed or operating effectively to properly account for village assets.


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