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March 17, 2011

 

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits


New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the audits of the Town of Cameron, the Town of Collins and the Federal Stimulus Program.

"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 Cameron, Internal Controls Over Payroll
The board did not establish written policies and procedures for authorizing, processing and reporting payroll.  As a result, DiNapoli’s auditors found that 12 town officials and employees did not have approved pay rates, and two individuals were paid more than the board authorized. Further, the town improperly paid a retirement incentive of $10,183 to the former highway superintendent, and paid $8,181 in salary and benefits to various employees without withholding payroll taxes or reporting these amounts to the IRS or the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. The town paid almost $27,000 in unauthorized or improper salary and benefits to town officials and employees without disclosing these payments. This lack of compliance with payroll tax withholding and reporting requirements could result in substantial interest and penalties.

Town of Collins, Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations
DiNapoli’s auditors found that the board did not adequately monitor the financial status of water district #3.  This resulted in a long-term interfund loan from water district #1 to water district #3, without a plan in place to repay these moneys. Upon the audit’s completion, $31,000 in loans remained unpaid. The town also experienced an unaccounted for water loss in water district #3 totaling over 7 million gallons, or 44 percent, at a cost of approximately $10,000. No action had been taken to correct the problem.

Federal Stimulus Program, Claims Processing in the Western Region of New York State
DiNapoli’s auditors reviewed all 166 claims, totaling $19.3 million, generated by 21 projects and found that all payments made were for appropriate highway-related projects costs and were in accordance with project specifications. As a result, taxpayers have assurance that ARRA funds have been used to pay for legitimate highway project costs.


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