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July 2, 2013

 

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Village of AlbionBloominburg Fire Company No. 1Cattaraugus CountyTown of DunkirkTown of HamdenCity of HudsonKillawog Fire DistrictCity of RochesterTown of Seneca Falls and the Town of Wappinger

“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 Albion – Water and Sewer Rents (Erie County) 
The village board did not establish adequate internal controls over the billing, collection and accounting for water and sewer rents. The water clerk billed, collected, recorded, deposited and adjusted water and sewer bills with only limited oversight. Also, the board did not ensure that water meters were tested and calibrated on a regular basis to help ensure that bills were accurate. 

Bloomingburg Fire Company #1 – Disbursements (Sullivan County) 
The fire company president allowed the treasurer to pay bills without evidence of company approval for the majority of the transactions.  Of the 100 disbursements tested, 76 payments totaling $27,600 had no evidence of company approval. Further, $16,200 in disbursements had no documentation to identify the purposes of the payments.  These deficiencies occurred because the treasurer performed all duties related to cash disbursements without adequate oversight. 

Cattaraugus County – Internal Controls Over Inmate Healthcare (2013M-123) 
During 2011, the county paid $230,686 for inmate healthcare services for inpatient and outpatient care. Auditors found discrepancies with 18 healthcare claims totaling $88,540.  These discrepancies occurred because county officials did not have adequate procedures to review invoices for inpatient hospital services provided to county inmates and verify that the correct Medicaid rates were used.   

Town of Dunkirk – Justice Court (Chautauqua County) 
Auditors found the town justices and the court clerk did not prepare monthly accountabilities of court assets and liabilities. Pending tickets were not always enforced in a timely manner and dismissed tickets were not always reported. Also, the town board did not conduct an effective audit of the court’s records and did not properly segregate the court clerk’s duties or establish compensating controls. 

Town of Hamden – Financial Condition (Delaware County) 
The town board has not properly monitored budgets and managed fund balance in the general fund. The board has consistently relied on fund balance to fund operations, which has depleted town resources. Although fund balance has rebounded somewhat in 2012, there has been a 69 percent overall decline in reported unassigned fund balance since 2008. 

City of Hudson – Internal Controls Over Cash Receipts (Columbia County) 
City officials have not developed centralized formal cash collection procedures for all departments. Currently, city departments use a different process to collect, report and remit cash to the city treasurer. Without a uniform set of duplicate receipts that are centrally controlled and press-numbered permits, city officials cannot be certain that all receipts and permits issued are authorized and included in the overall city revenue. 

Killawog Fire District – Controls Over Financial Operations (Broome County) 
The fire district board has retained excessive levels of fund balance. Fund balance as of Dec. 31, 2012 totaled approximately $229,000 which represents 260 percent of the following year’s budgeted appropriations. In addition, the board does not conduct an annual audit of the treasurer’s records or contract with an independent auditor to perform such an audit to ensure that district funds were used for legitimate purposes. 

City of Rochester – Code of Ethics and Procedures – Follow Up Audit (Monroe County) 
It appears that the city has made some improvements with its Code of Ethics. Of the three prior audit recommendations, one recommendation was fully implemented, one recommendation was partially implemented, and one recommendation was not implemented. 

Town of Seneca Falls – Justice Court (Seneca County) 
The town justice and assigned justices did not review bank statements or reconciliations, and did not review system activity to detect and correct errors. Justices did not maintain separate bank accounts to track incoming court moneys and did not submit monthly reports to the Office of the State Comptroller’s Justice Court Fund in a timely manner. In addition, the town board did not properly oversee court activities as required by law. 

Town of Wappinger – Financial Condition (Dutchess County) 
Town officials did not properly manage the financial condition of the town-wide general fund. Auditors found the town board did not adopt structurally balanced budgets and frequently relied on financing recurring operating expenditures with non-recurring revenue sources. Further, the board did not develop a comprehensive, multiyear financial plan. 

For access to state and local government spending and more than 60,000 state contracts, visit http://www.openbooknewyork.com/. The easy-to-use website was created by Comptroller DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.


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