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May 11, 2010



DiNapoli’s Office Completes Local Government Audits

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the following audits: Armor Volunteer Fire Company – Internal Controls Over the Length of Service Award Program (Erie County); Federal Stimulus Program – Procurement for Local Highway Projects in the Capital Region (Essex, Warren, Saratoga, Washington, Schenectady, Albany, Rensselaer, Greene counties); Town of Neversink – Internal Controls Over Payroll and Justice Court Operations (Sullivan County); and Village of Sharon Springs – Management Responsibilities (Schoharie County).

“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.”

Armor Volunteer Fire Company – Internal Controls Over the Length of Service Award Program
DiNapoli’s auditors found that the company accurately accounted for and reported LOSAP credit to the plan administrator and generally maintained appropriate supporting documentation. In most cases, trustees accurately tallied the points earned each month and calculated yearly totals based upon the company’s adopted service award point system. The company retained all attendance sign-in sheets for all activities for the 2008 calendar year. However, company officials could not locate meeting sign-in sheets and miscellaneous sign-in sheets for the 2007 calendar year. Auditors also found that the company’s adopted point system did not comply with the requirements of General Municipal Law resulting in five members who were incorrectly denied service award credit. Finally, auditors identified one reporting discrepancy. By addressing these areas, company officials can enhance accountability and ensure that eligible members receive appropriate LOSAP credit, which impacts the amount the fire protection district pays to fund benefits.

Federal Stimulus Program – Procurement for Local Highway Projects in the Capital Region
DiNapoli’s auditors found that local governments followed sound procurement procedures when awarding contracts funded by ARRA funds. Specifically, 11 of the 12 local governments audited adhered to bidding laws and appropriately awarded their ARRA highway projects to the lowest responsible bidders. One municipality failed to advertise its project in the official newspaper, as required by General Municipal Law. Auditors also found that all local governments had taken responsible measures to ensure that only responsible vendors were awarded contracts.

Town of Neversink – Internal Controls Over Payroll and Justice Court Operations
Auditors from DiNapoli’s office found that town officials did not ensure that internal controls over payroll were adequately designed. During our audit period, the bookkeeper was responsible for all aspects of the payroll process with no oversight. The supervisor did not review the completed payrolls or certify that they were accurate. There was only one collective bargaining agreement in the town, which covered highway employees. There were limited guidelines regarding the benefits of employees not covered by this agreement. In addition, these non-highway employees were responsible for tracking their own leave time. In addition, the board and justices did not provide adequate oversight of the court’s financial activity. As a result, the court had $2,964 in unidentified funds that went unnoticed until the audit was conducted.

Village of Sharon Springs – Management Responsibilities
DiNapoli’s auditors found that of the 11 audit recommendations, three were implemented, four were partially implemented and four were not implemented.

If you have any questions or would like a comment from the Comptroller’s Office regarding these audits, please call Nicole Hanks at 518-474-4015.

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