New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Chenango Bridge Fire Company, Franklin County, Newfield Fire Company, Town of Southold and the Union Center Fire Company.
“In today’s fiscal climate, budget transparency and accountability for our local communities is a top priority,” said DiNapoli. “By auditing municipal finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively.”
All disbursements and loan payments reviewed appeared to be legitimate company expenditures and all transfers were deposited into an authorized bank account. However, company officials did not have sufficient controls over cash collected for fundraising events to ensure that the money was deposited.
The county’s internal controls over the timekeeping system were not adequate to ensure employees received only the pay and leave-time benefits to which they were entitled. Although the county Legislature has adopted policies and procedures related to the timekeeping system, enforcement is handled at the departmental level and has resulted in inconsistencies in the approval of overtime, modifying time records and the process for charging leave accruals.
The board generally ensured that company funds were properly deposited and disbursed. However, the auditing committee and the independent auditor did not have procedures in place to obtain or review canceled check images.
The town does not have effective policies and procedures to ensure that departmental cash is properly protected. Auditors identified $115,529 in purchases that were not properly bid as required by law. In addition, town officials did not ensure that employees were paid correctly or that leave accrual records were accurate, because controls over payroll and leave time were not operating effectively.
Company controls are adequate to ensure moneys are safeguarded and financial activity is properly recorded and reported.
For access to state and local government spending and nearly 50,000 state contracts, visit OpenBookNY. The easy-to-use website was created by Comptroller DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.