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June 30, 2011


Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits for the Town of Frankfort, the Village of Lawrence and the Village of Wellsburg.

"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 Frankfort - Supervisor's Records and Reports and Cash Receipts and Disbursements (Herkimer County)
Auditors found that the supervisor used questionable accounting methods that concealed the true financial condition of the town. As a result, the board was not aware that the town's general fund balances totaled $2.15 million. Consequently, they did not use any of the accumulated fund balance to benefit the taxpayers. In addition, the town's cash receipt and disbursement duties were not segregated, and the board did not perform annual audits, as required.

Village of Lawrence - Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Nassau County)
Auditors found that the board did not properly oversee certain village financial activities. The board did not audit claims and allowed the administrator to pay claims prior to informing the board what claims were paid. For example, 13 of 18 checks reviewed, totaling $129,106 were issued by the administrator and cashed by vendors before the abstracts were presented to the board for approval. Internal controls over payrolls and personal services also need to be improved. Vacation days were cashed in, but not deducted from leave time records, and three employees received leave time and/or payments valued at $13,914 to which they were not entitled. Village officials also need to improve internal controls over procurement and information technology.

Village of Wellsburg - Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Chemung County)
Auditors found that the board has not fulfilled its fiduciary responsibility by properly overseeing the village's financial operations. The board did not adopt formal policies or establish procedures for various village operations, did not perform a deliberate audit of the village's claims before payment, segregate the clerk-treasurer's duties or conduct annual audits . The board did not require the accountant or clerk-treasurers to maintain accurate and up-to-date financial records and reports. Auditors also found that the clerk-treasurers did not properly account for all moneys received or maintain accurate, up-to-date accounting records. The village's amount of unaccounted-for water was significantly greater than industry standards, which cost the village more than $27,000. In addition, the board lacks control over the billing and collection of water rents. Finally, village officials have not effectively addressed the safeguarding of computer data.



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