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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Wayne County – Financial Management (2012M-249)

Released: April 12, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the County’s financial condition and management for the period January 1, 2010, to August 31, 2012.


Wayne County is located in Central New York, covers approximately 600 square miles, and has approximately 94,000 residents. The County is governed by a Board of Supervisors which is comprised of 15 members, the Supervisors from each Town within the County. The County’s general fund operating expenditures for the 2011 fiscal year totaled approximately $127 million.

Key Findings

  • County officials developed budgets containing unrealistic estimates, and maintained substantial fund balances that were not substantiated by formal and transparent plans for their use. The Board’s adopted budgets for the past five years (2007 to 2011) included overestimated expenditures by approximately $28 million and underestimated revenues by $8.8 million, and generated operating surpluses totaling $21 million.
  • The County maintained reserves totaling $10 million as of December 31, 2011, with no plans in place for the use of these balances.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop more accurate expenditure and revenue estimates for the general fund budget. Develop a plan to effectively use and reduce the unexpended surplus fund balance in the general fund. Adopt policies and establish procedures to govern budgeting practices, including the determination of a reasonable level of unexpended surplus funds to be maintained, as well as to address the accumulation of and use of moneys in reserve funds.
  • Review all reserves annually and determine if the amounts reserved are necessary, reasonable, and in compliance with statutory requirements.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236