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September 23, 2011

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits for the Village of Freeport and the South Spring Valley Fire District.

"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 Freeport - Financial Operations and Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Nassau County)
From the 2006-07 through the 2009-10 fiscal year, the general fund has experienced operating deficits of more than $10.8 million. The board included in the budgets about $4.9 million in reserve funds that did not exist and relied on debt proceeds of $9.67 million, masking the operating deficits in the general fund. Village officials did not adequately monitor lease agreements and many agreements were expired and additional income was lost. Village officials need to improve controls over capital projects, purchasing, cash disbursements, cash at the recreation center and information technology.

South Spring Valley Fire District – Board Oversight (Rockland County)
Instead of requiring the use of competition when procuring professional services, the board's procurement process allows the board to determine whether or not to use a competitive process. The district made payments to five vendors totaling $328,359 without the benefit of competition. The district failed to prepare and file the Annual Update Document from 2006 through 2009. The district selected a certified public accounting firm for its independent external audit in 2008, but an audit had not been completed as of April 2011. Furthermore, the board neither adopted a policy for electronic banking nor entered into a written agreement containing the necessary security measures for electronic transfers. The district also maintained an excessive number of bank accounts.



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