New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Bayport Fire District, Town of Cameron, Town of Enfield, Richland Fire District and the Summitville Fire District.
“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 commissioner, who is also the district secretary, provided auditors with a credit card policy, but two other commissioners were not aware of the policy and there is no record of the board adopting the policy. District officials and the maintenance mechanic made 252 credit card purchases totaling $60,240 during the audit period and found that 32 purchases totaling $4,846, or 13 percent, lacked documentation or were for an improper purpose.
The justice did not deposit, record and account for court moneys accurately and in a timely manner. The board also did not audit the court’s financial records and reports or ensure sufficient controls were in place to prevent or detect fraud or abuse. As a result, based on the records available, auditors found a cash shortage of at least $6,073 had occurred in the final three years of the justice’s six-year tenure.
While town officials generally competitively bid and utilized New York State Office of General Services or county contracts where appropriate, they did not seek competition for professional services and did not obtain the proper number of quotes for purchases subject to town policy.
Foreign fire insurance money was placed in the district’s general fund checking account and commingled with the district’s other funds because the treasurer did not keep separate accounting records showing the receipts, disbursement and balance of each fund. The treasurer could not determine how the money was spent or the amount of foreign fire insurance money currently on hand. Furthermore, the board, rather than department membership, determined how the foreign fire insurance money was to be spent.
Auditors found the board has established adequate controls to ensure that financial activity is properly recorded and reported and that district money is safeguarded.
For access to state and local government spending and more than 50,000 state contracts, visit www.openbooknewyork.com. The easy-to-use website was created by DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.