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June 01, 2011

 

DiNapoli's Office Completes Municipal Audits


New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits for the Allegany Joint Fire District, the Town of Butler, the Village of Cooperstown and the Town of Greenfield.

"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."

Allegany Joint Fire DistrictCapital Project Procurement and Annual Audit (Cattaraugus County)
The board did not comply with statutory bidding requirements for a $2.5 million firehouse project. The only documentation of bids made available to auditors were bid forms for the four vendors who were awarded contracts, which were dated two weeks after the bid opening date. No bid documentation was made available from any unsuccessful vendors. The district's procurement policy did not address the promotion of competition for professional services. Therefore, the board did not seek competition when procuring legal, financial, and architectural services totaling more than $195,000, and could not provide auditors with a contract for the legal or financial services rendered.

Town of Butler – Budgeting Practices (Wayne County)
The board has not adopted a policy, and town officials have not developed procedures to govern the level of unreserved, unappropriated fund balance to be maintained or to determine whether the amount maintained is reasonable. In addition, the board has not realistically determined the amount of fund balance to appropriate for the ensuing year's budget and has used only 19 percent of total appropriated fund balance over the four years reviewed. Further, the board has not developed a multi-year financial plan to set the funding for long-term operating and capital needs.

Village of Cooperstown – Information Technology (Otsego County)
The board did not ensure that the village's computer information was adequately safeguarded. Village officials have not adopted a comprehensive computer policy and/or procedures to ensure that the village IT system was secure. As a result, the village's IT system and computer information is at significant risk for misuse.

Town of Greenfield Internal Controls over the Justice Court (Saratoga County)
Internal controls over the financial operations of the court were not appropriately designed or operating effectively. Auditors found that the cash disbursements journal did not include all cash disbursements, controls over cash receipts and disbursements were inadequate, case files could not be located, and bank reconciliations and monthly accountabilities were either not performed or were inadequate.


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