Skip to Content

Login   Subscribe   Site Index   Contact Us   Google Translate™

NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

November 20, 2014, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli: Wyandanch Public Library Audit Reveals Missing Cash, Excess Benefits

Officials of the Wyandanch Public Library in Suffolk County failed to notice $4,600 in missing cash, overpaid the library’s treasurer $6,900 and allowed the president to alter the time records of a family member employed by the library which resulted in nearly $20,000 in questionable pay, according to an audit released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Auditors also discovered that additional staff were overpaid or received unauthorized overtime payments.

“This audit clearly shows that library officials did not adequately protect public money,” said DiNapoli. “Residents should never have to worry that their money is being misused.”

Auditors discovered that from July 1, 2011 through Sept. 30, 2012, the public library’s board did not provide adequate oversight of the work performed by an independent contractor who was hired as treasurer. The treasurer failed to deposit $4,638 or nearly 50 percent of the cash receipts that were turned over to her during the audit period, and did not maintain accurate and complete financial records. In addition, she received $6,875 in compensation that was not authorized in her contractual agreement.

Auditors also found the library’s former president had unlimited access to the payroll system and routinely changed time records and granted full pay and overtime without documentation that employees actually worked the hours paid. For example, the president made 109 changes to the time sheet of the library’s custodian, who is also her nephew. Of these changes, 46 were manual creation of new time entries, meaning the custodian did not clock in or out on those days. Instead, the president went into the payroll system and created the entries. Library records show the custodian was paid $32,438 for the six-month period from January 2012 through June 2012.

In addition, library officials failed to enforce compliance with timekeeping requirements; implement procedures for payroll processing; require documented justification and pre-approval of overtime or adhere to the leave accrual limits outlined in the employee handbook. This resulted in five full time employees being overpaid a total of $4,885, including $1,071 in regular pay, $623 for vacation time, $2,971 for sick time and $220 for holiday leave.

The audit findings have been turned over to Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas J. Spota for review.

DiNapoli made a number of recommendations in the audit, including that the library:

  • Recover all moneys that the treasurer failed to deposit in the library’s bank account as well as any unauthorized compensation payments made to her;
  • Provide adequate oversight of the treasurer function, including:
    • Reconciling the clerk’s receipt book with deposited cash receipts;
    • Thoroughly reviewing the treasurer’s reports and following up on any inconsistencies;
    • Ensuring that all payments to the treasurer are in accordance with the terms of the contractual agreement; and
    • Reviewing monthly bank reconciliations. Outstanding and/or questionable items on the bank reconciliations should be expediently investigated and resolved.
  • Provide proper oversight of petty cash;
  • Ensure that individuals traveling on library business adhere to the library’s travel policy;
  • Review user access rights to the payroll system and restrict access to only those employees authorized to process payroll;
  • Monitor payroll by ensuring all employees swipe into the clocking device to record time in and out during the work day; and
  • Establish a comprehensive policy along with written procedures governing the library’s payroll function, including:
    • Pre-authorization, documentation and subsequent approval of overtime;
    • Requiring the granting and using of leave in accordance with the employee manual; and
    • The accurate and complete maintenance of leave time records for all employees entitled to leave benefits.

Although library officials downplayed the seriousness of many of the audit’s findings, they indicated that they have already taken a number of steps to address the Comptroller’s recommendations to improve oversight of the library’s finances. Their response is included in the final audit. For a copy of the report visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/libraries/2014/wyandanch.pdf

DiNapoli encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by filing a complaint online at investigations@osc.state.ny.us, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 14th floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.

 

###

Albany Phone: (518) 474-4015 Fax: (518) 473-8940
NYC Phone: (212) 383-1388 Fax: (212) 681-7677
Internet: www.osc.state.ny.us
E-Mail: press@osc.state.ny.us
Follow us on Twitter: @NYSComptroller
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nyscomptroller