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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Chautauqua County – Investments and Payroll (2016M-147)

Released: December 23, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The objectives of our audit were to review the County’s investment program and salaries and fringe benefit payments for the period January 1, 2013 through January 15, 2016.


Chautauqua County has a population of approximately 135,000 and includes two cities, 27 towns and 15 villages. The County is governed by a 19-member County Legislature. Budgeted appropriations for 2015 totaled approximately $229 million.

Key Findings

  • The Director of Finance did not always invest funds in accordance with the County’s adopted investment policy or General Municipal Law (GML).
  • Not all salary payments to 23 elected officials and 94 management employees were accurately calculated.
  • Three elected officials should not have been paid for unused vacation leave totaling $14,875 during 2013 and 2014.

Key Recommendations

  • Provide adequate oversight of the investment program to ensure that all investments are made in the County’s best interests and are in compliance with adopted policies and GML.
  • Consult with the County Attorney and, to the extent possible, recover salary and benefit overpayments made to elected officials and management employees, and establish adequate written policies and procedures to ensure that elected officials and management employees are annually compensated at their approved salary amounts.
  • Cease allowing elected officials to accrue and be paid for vacation leave.

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