New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of City of Auburn, East Kingston Volunteer Fire Company, Village of East Rockaway, Herkimer County and the Village of New Paltz.
"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 council did not provide adequate oversight over hydroelectric power operations. They did not adopt policies and procedures which adequately govern certain procurement practices, including requests for qualifications or proposals or energy performance contracts. The council also did not adopt formal long-term financial plans or develop adequate capital plans related to their hydroelectric power facilities.
The board did not provide adequate oversight of financial affairs and the treasurer did not provide the board complete and accurate accounting reports. While the board reviewed the treasurer's reports, which listed the bills for review, when auditing claims it did not review the supporting documentation. As a result, the board did not properly approve 572 disbursements totaling approximately $283,400. Auditors also found that 155 claims totaling $12,890 were not properly supported by invoices or receipts.
Accounting errors and irregularities occurred and remained undetected for several months or years because monthly bank reconciliations are incorrect and not reviewed for accuracy and monthly accountability analyses are not prepared. Auditors determined from January through June 2016, the cash on hand exceeded known liabilities by between $1,963 and $2,168 for the six months reviewed.
The county overpaid municipalities $1.4 million in sales tax distributions from 2010 to 2016. In addition, the clerk did not properly reconcile a county bank account for the Department of Motor Vehicles resulting in an unaccounted for balance of $162,875. The treasurer also did not properly reconcile the general fund bank account which resulted in an unaccounted for balance of $36,091.
The board and village officials did not adequately segregate the code enforcement officer's duties related to cash receipts. As a result, the officer was performing incompatible duties, including collecting cash, recording receipts and preparing bank deposits. Auditors also found collections made by the Building Department were not always remitted to the treasurer in a timely manner.
For access to state and local government spending, public authority financial data and information on 140,000 state contracts, visit Open Book New York. The easy-to-use website was created to promote transparency in government and provide taxpayers with better access to financial data.