“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 purchasing policy does not require the solicitation of multiple quotations or use of requests for proposals (RFPs) before awarding professional service contracts. District officials could not provide evidence that they had obtained quotations or RFPs for eight purchases totaling $194,308.
Auditors found that the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the preliminary budget are reasonable. The town’s proposed budget complies with the property tax levy limit.
The town has not made sufficient progress implementing corrective action. Of the 10 previous audit recommendations, one recommendation was implemented, one recommendation was partially implemented and eight recommendations were not implemented.
Auditors found that the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the proposed budget appear reasonable. However, city officials should assess what is a reasonable amount of fund balance for each fund considering various factors such as the timing of receipts and disbursements and the volatility of revenues and expenditures. In addition, the common council should consider increasing the contingency appropriations in the adopted budget. The council should also include a tax overlay in the adopted budget and will have to adopt the proposed local law to override the tax levy limit in 2017.
Auditors found the significant revenue and expenditure projections to be reasonable. However, the proposed budget provides only minimal funding for capital expenditures and the city has not fully funded its 2017 capital plan. City officials should also be cognizant of the potential financial impact of the settlement of any of the city’s six expired collective bargaining agreements in 2017. Furthermore, auditors found that the city’s proposed real property tax levy is not in compliance with its tax levy limit and the council has not adopted a local law to override the limit. Should the city not take action to adopt a tax cap override or make cuts to the budget, it will be left with an unbalanced 2017 budget that will not have sufficient revenues to fund operations.
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.