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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Cortlandville – Fuel Purchases (2012M-171)

Released: January 11, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if the Town was acquiring fuel at the lowest reasonable cost for the period January 1, 2011, to June 21, 2012.


The Town is located in Cortland County and has a population of approximately 8,500. The Town’s Board of five elected officials, including the Supervisor, governs the Town. The Town has more than 70 center-lane miles of Town road within the 49 square-mile Town boundaries. The Highway Department is responsible for the maintenance and repair of these roads. This is done with the use of a variety of vehicles and machines all fueled by diesel or unleaded gasoline. The Town receives a fleet discount by purchasing fuel from a national gas station chain. During our audit period the Town’s fleet of vehicles, including all Town departments, used approximately 39,000 gallons of diesel and 21,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline. The total cost of this fuel usage was approximately $184,850.

Key Finding

  • Town officials made fuel purchases in excess of the bidding threshold without obtaining competitive bids. This happened because the Highway Superintendent did not adhere to GML or the Board-adopted procurement policy when making fuel purchases. However, although the Highway Superintendent did not seek competition for the Town’s fuel purchases, we found that the Town paid the lowest price compared to available State and County contract prices.

Key Recommendation

  • Competitively bid for the procurement of fuel.

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