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March 4, 2010



DiNapoli’s Office Completes Local Government Audits

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the audits: City of Rensselaer – Internal Controls Over Cash Receipts, and City of Saratoga Springs – Cash Receipts in the Department of Public Works.

“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.”

City of Rensselaer – Internal Controls Over Cash Receipts
DiNapoli’s auditors found that the city did not have formal policies or procedures governing the cash receipts function and the Common Council did not exercise adequate oversight. Auditors found that the treasurer’s office did not maintain accurate and complete cash receipt records. There were numerous discrepancies between the amounts recorded as received, the amounts actually received and the amounts deposited into the city’s bank accounts. In addition, users of the computerized cash receipt system, including the treasurer and two clerks, were able to change receipt information such as receipt number, amount, and user identification within the system without supervisory approval. However, auditors did not find any material exceptions.

Saratoga Springs – Cash Receipts in the Department of Public Works
In December 2008, city officials adopted a new policy and established revised procedures for handling cash receipts by the DPW. However, auditors found that the commissioner of Public Works did not take any immediate action to implement the new procedures, reportedly had not done so as of the end of auditors’ fieldwork in May 2009, and had done little to implement these procedures as of August 2009. For example, while the new policy requires that receipts for trash bag and compost sales be remitted daily to the Finance Department for deposit, auditors found that moneys were remitted on average, every 5.75 days and as late as 27 days after receipt. Also, trash bags available for sale by the DPW were not inventoried daily as required. The lack of inventory control of trash bags was a significant deficiency that contributed to the prior theft.

Click on the links above for a copy of the audits.

If you have any questions or would like a comment from the Comptroller’s office regarding these audits, please call the Press Office at 518-474-4015, or send an email to pressofiice@osc.state.ny.us.

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