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May 10, 2011

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits for the Town of Lake George and the Village of Dansville.

"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 Dansville - Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Livingston County)
DiNapoli’s auditors found that the board did not implement policies and procedures for the preparation of adequate financial records and reports. As a result, the village's records and reports were not timely or reliable, which made the board unable to adopt realistic budgets. Consequently, the total combined fund balances in the general, water and sewer funds declined by $762,600 or 62 percent over the five-year period. This decline caused cash flow problems that required the use of inter-fund advances to maintain services. In addition, the board's procurement policy did not specifically indicate that quote documentation must be submitted to the board for audit. Finally, auditors found that goods and services from 10 vendors totaling $350,983 were procured without soliciting competition.

Town of Lake George - Financial Condition and Payroll (Warren County)
The board and town officials did not provide effective oversight and fulfill their responsibility to prepare realistic budgets, monitor the town's financial condition, and establish effective controls over financial areas. These deficiencies resulted in cash flow shortfalls, questionable payments to employees, and the potential abuse of leave time. There was no board approval for wage increases, resulting in over $225,000 added to employees' pay rates in 2007 through 2010 as "title pay" without board authorization. The former supervisor did not document the purpose, amounts, or approval of these questionable payments, which town officials should seek to recover. Additionally, two employees improperly received separation payments and benefits of over $12,000.


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