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June 10, 2011


DiNapoli's Office Completes Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits for the Town of Castile, the Town of Hamburg, Herkimer County, the North Evans Fire District and the Town of Potter.

"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."

Town of Castile - Financial Management and Town Supervisor's Duties (Wyoming County)
At December 31, 2010, the unreserved, unappropriated fund balance in the general fund – town-wide was reported as $254,761, or 84 percent of the ensuing year's appropriations. At the same time, the town maintained an unreserved, unappropriated fund balance in the highway – town-wide, water district, and sewer district funds of $371,816, $183,760, and $214,197 respectively. These amounts represented 109 percent, 151 percent, and 79 percent, respectively, of the ensuing year's appropriations. The town has accumulated excessive taxpayer funds that could be better used. In addition, the supervisor does not have adequate control of his financial records, nor does he appropriately monitor those performing some of his financial duties.

Town of Hamburg - Internal Controls Over Justice Court Operations (Erie County)
Internal controls are not adequately designed or operating effectively. Weaknesses in the internal control system exist and there is lack of oversight by the justices and the court administrator. The justices did not ensure that the court administrator and the court clerks prepared accurate monthly accountability reports. Auditors performed accountabilities for the two justices and found that the justices' bank balances exceeded known liabilities by $10,042, while the balance in the shared bail account was $4,809 less than court's liabilities.

Herkimer County - Internal Controls Over Procurement and Disclosures of Interest
One department head did not use the RFP process when procuring the services of a professional services provider. Auditors reviewed 39 purchases that would have been required to be competitively bid or required written or verbal quotes and found that one was not and five were procured without required verbal price quotes. During the review of 21 purchases that would require competitive bids, auditors found that five purchases totaling more than $1.1 million were procured from single vendor bids. Finally, the ethics board does not review the annual financial interest disclosure forms to determine whether county officials and employees who are involved in the procurement process have a conflict of interest.

North Evans Fire District - Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Erie County)
Auditors found that the board generally provides adequate oversight of district financial activities. The treasurer provides monthly reports to the board and filed the required annual financial report for 2009 in a timely manner. The board retained a public accounting firm to perform an annual audit of the district's financial records for 2009, as required by statute.

Town of Potter - Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Yates County)
Auditors found that the board's budgeting practices have resulted in the Highway Fund accumulating excessive taxpayer funds that could be better utilized for the benefit of taxpayers. In addition, the board improperly approved the issuance of a statutory installment bond for $136,000, and improperly allowed a third party contractor access to the town's cash to disburse payroll.


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