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May 30, 2013


Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits


New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Village of Castleton-on-Hudson, Town of Davenport, Town of Fort Ann, Town of Huntington and the Town of Wayne.

“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 Castleton-on-Hudson – Internal Controls Over Information Technology and Online Banking (Rensselaer County)
Village officials have not developed any formal IT policies and the village board has not developed a formal disaster recovery plan, instituted breach notification procedures, or adopted procedures for data backup. Village audit logs are available through financial software, but they are not generated and reviewed by village officials. Also, the board has not instituted appropriate controls for online banking.

Town of Davenport – Financial Operations (Delaware County)
Auditors identified discrepancies totaling $4,800 in the town supervisor’s cash receipt records, and found that the supervisor paid claims totaling $54,000 that had not been reviewed and approved by the town board. The supervisor provided inadequate financial information to the board, and failed to file the town’s annual financial report with the Office of the State Comptroller. These problems occurred because the board has not provided appropriate oversight and town financial duties were not properly segregated.

Town of Fort Ann – Lake Hadlock Dam Collapse (Washington County)
The town board established a budget for the stabilization and reconstruction of the Lake Hadlock Dam. After authorizing an initial $3.3 million in bond anticipation notes to finance the project, the board needed to authorize an additional $1.5 million to pay for unexpected environmental issues. Auditors determined the capital project change orders were valid and board-approved. Further, 233 claims associated with the project were found to be for appropriate project purposes and correctly allocated to the project.

Town of Huntington – Payroll and Legal Services (Suffolk County)
Auditors found the town may have higher payroll costs than necessary. The town routinely pays supervisors for overtime that may not be necessary because overtime is not pre-approved and actual overtime hours are not recorded. The town allows employees to maintain leave accrual balances that are much higher than those permitted by contract bargaining agreements. Also, the town contracted with 23 attorneys, who were paid a total of $1.9 million during the audit period, without using the request for proposals process outlined in the town’s procurement policy.

Town of Wayne – Justice Court (Steuben County)
The town justice failed to account for all moneys received and the town board did not provide effective oversight of court operations, resulting in a $2,910 shortage in the justice’s account. The justice did not prepare monthly bank reconciliations or accountabilities, issue appropriate receipts for all money received, deposit money in a timely manner, file accurate and timely financial reports, maintain an accurate listing of bail, or properly report ticket dispositions.

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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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