June 25, 2012
COMPTROLLER DiNAPOLI RELEASES MUNICIPAL AUDITS
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the audits of the Village of Highland Falls, Village of LeRoy, Town of Litchfield, Town of New Haven, Village of Ravena and the Village of Sherburne.
“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 Highland Falls – Financial Condition and Purchasing Practices (Orange County)
The village board did not develop and implement a multi-year financial or capital plan, causing the village to borrow for expenditures which could have been included in the annual budget. As of May 31, 2011, the village had seven bond anticipation notes outstanding totaling $752,800, and taxpayers have incurred short-term interest expenses of $234,000 since June 2006.
Village of LeRoy – Financial Condition (Genesee County)
The village board has not adopted reasonably accurate budgets or properly monitored the budget. As a result, for the year ended 2010-11, the village had accumulated unexpended surplus funds of almost $1.8 million in the general fund and over $468,000 in the sewer fund that could have been used to reduce the tax levy.
Town of Litchfield – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Herkimer County)
Auditors identified a former town board member (now the Town Supervisor) who had a 25 percent ownership interest in a local dairy farm operating as a limited liability company (LLC). This company entered into a contract with the town when it purchased a surplus highway vehicle in January 2010 at a cost of $15,502. Because the board member had a 25 percent ownership interest in the LLC, the board member is deemed to have a prohibited interest in this contract.
Town of New Haven – Internal Controls Over Selected Town Operations (Oswego County)
During the audit period, the town board did not properly oversee the town’s financial operations. Auditors also found deficiencies including payment of claims prior to audit, lack of adequate support to demonstrate the payments were proper, lack of signatures acknowledging the receipt of goods and services and an improper payment of $2,500 to a senior citizens group.
Village of Ravena – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Albany County)
The village board is not performing several of its oversight duties properly or in a timely manner. The treasurer performs all budget transfers at year-end without board approval. As of May 31, 2011, 43 accounts were over-expended in the general, water, and sewer funds, which resulted in year-end budget transfers totaling $215,554. The board did not properly oversee and monitor all purchases to ensure that its procurement policy was followed and did not properly audit all claims.
Village of Sherburne – Justice Court (Chenango County)
The village justice could not demonstrate that six receipts totaling more than $900 were deposited into the court bank account and auditors found an extra $125 that was deposited could not be traced to a specific case. Further, 51 payments totaling more than $7,500 were not deposited until more than three days, and up to 14 days, after they were collected.