New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Town of Blooming Grove, Village of Cayuga Heights, Greenville Fire District #1, Hauppauge Fire District, Village of Holley, Town of Olean Fire Company No. 1 and the Plattsburgh Public Library.
“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.”
The board has not adopted comprehensive written policies for departmental cash receipts or implemented procedures to provide guidance for employees when recording transactions to help ensure financial reports are accurate and reliable.
The board did not ensure the village’s accounting records were current, complete and accurate, and that purchases were made in accordance with the procurement policy. The village’s procurement policy is outdated and the current process does not comply with the procedures outlined in the policy.
District budgets did not include detailed estimates of revenues and did not include estimates of fund balance. Claims were paid prior to board review and did not contain itemized vouchers. Also, the treasurer does not provide budget status reports to the board and there is no independent oversight to ensure that completed bank reconciliations are correct.
Three of the district’s five fire commissioners have not attended mandatory training, as required by law. In addition, the district did not always use competitive methods when procuring goods and services, and did not have contracts with all vendors.
The board did not adequately monitor the financial condition of the water and sewer funds. Both funds relied on interfund advances from the general fund to help finance operations. As a result, the water and sewer funds had deficits of $153,000 and $37,000, respectively.
Town of Olean Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 – Controls Over Financial Activities (Cattaraugus County)
The treasurer did not maintain appropriate records or provide the board with monthly financial reports. Company members did not maintain records for each activity to show an itemized list of the receipts collected from fund-raising events. Further, board minutes were missing from 14 of the 20 meetings held during the audit period.
Although the board adopted a circulation policy that contains procedures related to collecting cash receipts, the procedures were insufficient. Procedures did not establish which employees were authorized to collect cash receipts or the processes for determining accountability over cash receipts recorded in the library’s computer system.
For access to state and local government spending and 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.