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September 19, 2013

 

DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Village of Gowanda, Town of Mohawk, Town of Sodus, South Fallsburg Fire District, Village of Spencerport and the Town of White Creek.

“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 Gowanda – Procurement (Cattaraugus County)
The village is incurring higher costs than necessary for goods and services. Auditors found purchases were not formally bid or awarded by the village board, quotes were not always obtained, and village officials did not determine if they received the correct state or county contract pricing.

Town of Mohawk – Records and Reports (Montgomery County)
The town supervisor did not maintain accurate and complete accounting records to properly document assets, liabilities, fund balances, results of operations, or prepare accurate reports that would allow the board to adequately monitor the town’s financial operations. As a result, town officials lacked assurance that fund balance was available to fund budgeted appropriations.

Town of Sodus – Financial Management and Professional Services (Wayne County)
The town board repeatedly adopted budgets with inaccurate revenue and expenditure estimates, which led to the accumulation of significant surplus funds. In addition, the town’s procurement policy does not require the solicitation of written proposals or quotes for the acquisition of professional services. In 2011 and 2012 the town paid $314,781 to seven professional service providers without soliciting competition.

South Fallsburg Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Sullivan County)
While the district does have adequate financial policies, it does not have certain financial procedures in place. For example, the district treasurer submits a budget-to-actual financial report to the board only at the end of the fiscal year and has not filed the required annual financial report with the Office of State Comptroller since the 2008. In addition, the board contracts with an independent auditor to perform an annual audit of the treasurer’s records; however, the last completed audit was performed in 2010.

Village of Spencerport – Financial Management (Monroe County)
The village board has consistently adopted budgets with unrealistic estimates of revenues, expenditures and the amount of fund balance to be used to fund operations. From 2007 through 2012, the board appropriated $3.73 million in fund balance for the general and sewer funds, but did not use $2.9 million of this amount. Consequently, the village accumulated $833,139 of unexpended surplus funds in the general fund and $522,373 in the sewer fund.

Town of White Creek – Board Oversight of Financial Activities (Washington County)
The town supervisor did not adequately oversee and monitor the work of the budget officer who served as the town’s bookkeeper and maintained the town’s accounting records. Due to the poor condition of the town’s financial records and reports, the town board was unable to determine the town’s true financial condition or effectively monitor financial operations.


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For access to state and local government spending and nearly 50,000 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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