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May 19, 2010




DiNapoli’s Office Completes Local Government Audits

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the following audits: Town of Alfred – Internal Controls Over Highway Purchasing and Justice Court Operations (Allegany County); Hamilton County – Fleet Management of Passenger Vehicles (Hamilton County); and Orange County Department of Weights and Measures – Internal Controls Over Department Activities (Orange 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.”

Town of Alfred – Internal Controls Over Highway Purchasing and Justice Court Operations
Auditors from DiNapoli’s office found that internal controls over highway department purchasing were not appropriately designed and operating effectively. While the board had adopted a procurement policy, it did not ensure that the highway superintendent was aware of and adhered to its requirements when purchasing goods and services. Purchases in excess of $80,000 were not in compliance with the policy. Auditors also reviewed the internal controls over court operations as well as records and reports for Justices Burdick, Cameron and Bush, and found deficiencies in the areas of segregation of duties, accountabilities, maintenance of bail records, resignation of a justice, and board oversight.

Hamilton County – Fleet Management of Passenger Vehicles
DiNapoli’s auditors found that the board of supervisors had not adopted a countywide fleet management policy. Auditors also noted that the fleet coordinator and board of supervisors had developed informal procedures for the acquisition, maintenance and repairs, and replacement and disposal of passenger vehicles and that these procedures are functioning well. However, the county did not have a process in place to justify the acquisition of new passenger vehicles based on a needs assessment or compare the cost of purchasing to other alternatives such as mileage reimbursement. As a result, it appears the county may have acquired more vehicles than needed, and that certain vehicles are being under-utilized. By determining the appropriate number of passenger vehicles for each department and not replacing seven under-utilized vehicles, the county could reduce fleet costs by approximately $202,000 over a seven-year period.

Orange County Department of Weights and Measures – Internal Controls Over Department Activities
DiNapoli’s auditors found that the department inspected all devices used to weigh and measure commodities that are sold on the basis of their size, weight and volume for accuracy at least once a year, as required. In addition, the department resolved consumer complaints in a timely manner. However, the department does not have a process in place to monitor the enforcement and collection of all the fees and violation fines to which it is entitled. As a result, the county did not collect as much as $29,260 to which it is entitled or 16 percent of the total fines and fees billed to business establishments during the audit period.

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.

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