New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed an audit of the Village of Brookville, Village of Canajoharie, Fairport Public Library, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Community Library, Rockland County and Town of Saugerties.
“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 accumulated unexpended surplus funds totaling $2.4 million without a long-term plan for its use. The board did not audit claims prior to payment and did not annually audit the records maintained by the clerk-treasurer and the town justice.
Village officials made nine purchases totaling $647,522 without seeking competitive bids and 11 purchases totaling $19,338 without obtaining quotes. The village could have saved nearly $60,000 if they had utilized state contracts or sought competition through competitive bids or quotes.
The board did not take an active role in overseeing the library’s financial operations and monitoring the treasurer’s work. The board did not establish policies and internal controls over investments and certain other key financial areas. Library officials do not review or approve financial transactions before they occur, and instead, rely on Fairport Central School District employees to both process and approve all financial activity.
Internal controls over the claims process were not appropriately designed. Claims were reviewed and approved by a trustee serving as treasurer but none were audited and approved by the board.
Department personnel need to improve their monitoring of service contracts. Contract agencies did not always submit performance and financial reports and records that indicated how they met their performance targets and whether they adhered to the program budget. In addition, the department paid agencies a total of $1,191,319 without receiving the required financial reports and/or supporting documentation.
Justices did not ensure that court funds were properly recorded, deposited and reported. Court clerks performed incompatible duties related to cash receipts and the justices did not provide effective oversight of their work. Also, bail records were inaccurate and cash receipts were not always deposited within 72 hours as required by law.