Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the audits of the Town of Carmel, Town of Lysander and the Town of New Paltz.
“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 Carmel – Water Accountability (Putnam County)
Town officials do not reconcile the amount of water purchased to the amount of water treated prior to distribution. As a result, they cannot account for a 14 million gallon water loss from October 2010 to September 2011, with an estimated cost of as much as $42,000. Further, town officials cannot calculate the actual amount of water loss for the entire water system. Estimated usage per the water bills sent to customers appeared to be low when compared to data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Town of Lysander – Selected Town Operations (Onondaga County)
Town officials did not solicit competition for the acquisition of professional services from 16 of 21 professionals who received payments totaling $1.8 million. In addition, there were no written agreements to indicate the contract period, the services to be provided or the basis for compensation for payments made to six of the professionals totaling $383,858. Also, internal controls over information technology are not adequately designed.
Town of New Paltz – Fiscal Oversight and Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Ulster County)
The town has experienced a series of unplanned operating deficits in two of its water districts and one of its sewer districts. These deficits were caused by inaccurate budget estimates and the town board’s insufficient monitoring of financial operations throughout the year. The resulting decline in fund balances has, in turn, caused the water and sewer districts to experience cash flow problems. Further, the town board did not provide the necessary oversight of town officials and did not establish internal controls that ensured the town’s financial activity was accurately recorded and reported on a timely basis.