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May 22, 2013


Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Lakeville No. 2 Fire District, Town of Rhinebeck, Town of Summerhill, the Town of Southampton and the Town of Wethersfield.

“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."

Lakeville No. 2 Fire District – Oversight of Financial Operations (Livingston County)
Fire district officials did not ensure that district funds were expended in the best interest of taxpayers or as permitted by law. The district did not use a competitive process when procuring goods and services for an $80,000 capital improvement project. Auditors found the district has spent $127,480 on the project and additional expenditures are needed to complete the work.

Town of Rhinebeck – Internal Controls Over Cash Management and Information Technology (Dutchess County)
Town officials need to improve internal controls over cash management. Although the board implemented a policy to segregate cash functions, the policy was inadequate and did not effectively segregate the town clerk’s duties. Deposits in the clerk’s office were not timely or intact and $1,288 in cash was not deposited and cannot be located by town officials. Auditors also found that town computer users could install unauthorized software or alter the computer configuration, increasing the risk that town assets and data may be lost or compromised.

Town of Summerhill – Fund Balance and Budget Monitoring (Cayuga County)
The town board did not adopt structurally balanced budgets or monitor the budget during the year. Auditors found the board’s estimates of surplus fund balance to be appropriated exceeded the amount available. As a result, the general fund balance declined by $82,000 from 2008 to 2012. Consequently, the general fund had to borrow money from the highway fund in 2012 so it could pay its obligations.

Board of Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of the Town of Southampton – Trustee Oversight (Suffolk County)
The board of trustees needs to improve its monitoring of cash management. The trustees did not develop procedures to ensure that deposits were made timely and intact. Although auditors found all deposits to be intact, the failure to deposit receipts in a timely manner increases the risk that moneys received will not properly accounted for and that moneys could be lost or stolen.

Town of Wethersfield – Town Clerk and Highway Operations (Wyoming County)
The town clerk’s cash receipts records were unreliable and the town board did not provide adequate oversight over the clerk’s office. Auditors found the clerk did not make deposits and remit moneys to appropriate agencies in a timely manner. Further, the clerk inappropriately used $340 in personal funds to cover a cash shortage in the office. In addition, the town board did not adopt a procurement policy and the town highway superintendent did not routinely obtain quotes prior to purchasing goods and services.

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For access to state and local government spending and more than 60,000 state contracts, visit http://www.openbooknewyork.com/. The easy-to-use website was created by Comptroller DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.

 

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