Allegany County – County Jail Payroll and Inmate Prescription Medications (2013M-218)

Issued Date
January 24, 2014

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the efficiency of the County's jail operations and to identify cost-savings opportunities for the period January 1, 2012 to June 5, 2013.


Allegany County is located in the Southern Tier of Western New York and has a population of approximately 50,000 residents. The County is governed by a 15-member Legislature. The County’s budgeted appropriations for 2013 are $111 million, which includes general fund appropriations of $86.8 million.

Key Findings

  • The County paid approximately $4.4 million in wages for correctional staff during the 2012 calendar year. Approximately $977,000, or 22 percent, was for overtime. We noted that overtime costs were primarily attributed to insufficient staffing, particularly, an insufficient number of part-time officers. Had the Sheriff’s Office had sufficient full-time and part-time staff, more than $87,000 in overtime costs could have been avoided. Additionally, we identified instances where control weaknesses allowed two administrative employees to receive over $56,000 in overtime pay without pre-approval and proper supporting documentation.
  • During 2012, the County purchased over 2,100 prescription medications for inmates from a local pharmacy. These purchases totaled over $198,000 and were procured without the benefit of competition or obtaining price quotes. We reviewed 983 of the medications purchased, totaling approximately $83,000, and found that the County could have purchased the same medications on State bid and realized savings of more than $32,000 (almost 40 percent).

Key Recommendations

  • Continue to monitor staffing levels and establish an optimal staff size by analyzing staff needs over all functions and determining how best to assign new hires to achieve the greatest reduction in overtime costs. Consider hiring additional correction officers on a part-time basis to maintain an adequate pool of available officers for flexibility in covering shifts.
  • Routinely solicit proposals for pharmaceutical services and prescriptions, and compare to State-awarded contract prices, to help ensure the prudent and economical use of public moneys.