City of Auburn – Hydroelectric Power Operations and Software Management (2017M-99)

Issued Date
December 15, 2017

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the City’s hydroelectric power operations and software management for the period July 1, 2015 through March 9, 2017.


The City of Auburn is located in Cayuga County and has a population of approximately 28,000. The City, which is governed by the City Council, operates and maintains a variety of services for the benefit of its residents, one of which is hydroelectric power. Budgeted appropriations for the 2016-17 totaled approximately $53 million.

Key Findings

  • City officials awarded an energy performance contract (EPC) for a hydroelectric power project based on inaccurate financial projections, and the project has run a deficit and is projected to continue to do so.
  • City officials and IT staff did not ensure compliance with the Council-adopted acceptable use policies.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop policies and procedures governing the procurement processes to be followed related to EPCs and thoroughly and independently review any projected cost savings or revenue estimates before entering into an EPC.
  • Monitor users to ensure compliance with the acceptable use policies and ensure software installed on City computers is business appropriate.