New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Village of Corfu, Town of East Hampton, Village of Farmingdale, Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, Town of Marlborough, New Hyde Park Fire District, Town of Red Hook, Rockland County, City of Troy and the Village of Tuxedo Park.
"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 routinely adopted budgets that were not reasonably estimated. This caused three years of operating deficits, which required the board to make interfund transfers and temporarily borrow cash from the general fund to support sewer fund financial operations.
Auditors found that the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the tentative budget are reasonable and the 2019 tentative budget complies with the property tax cap levy limit.
The board-adopted procurement policy does not require the solicitation of competition before awarding professional service contracts. As a result, village officials did not seek competition for nine of 10 professional service providers paid $733,497.
The board did not appoint a treasurer to oversee financial operations as required. The board also did not seek competition for six professional services totaling approximately $559,311 and professional service providers did not have written agreements. Village officials also paid $155,640 to four vendors for capital improvements ($62,200), sewer repairs ($34,840), park rehabilitation ($21,262) and general maintenance ($37,338) without a competitive bid process.
As of December 31, 2017, the water fund owed the general fund $340,000. The water and sewer funds do not pay administrative costs for services they receive from the general fund. Customers were overcharged for water and sewer late penalties in 2017 by $8,654.
The board did not segregate payroll duties or properly certify payrolls. In addition, the board did not implement policies and procedures over payroll. For example, direct supervisors did not review or approve 244 of 309 timecards (79 percent) and timecards lacked documentation. The secretary did not document the reasons for adjustments of all payroll hours.
From fiscal years 2013 through 2017, the town’s general fund balance increased by $624,571 and the unrestricted fund balance grew to 53.49 percent of the ensuing year’s budgeted appropriations. The board adopted a fund balance policy that allowed for unexpended surplus funds of up to 70 percent of annual expenditures. The policy, however, was not comprehensive and did not define the time periods or means for which fund balance will be used and replenished.
The significant revenue and expenditure projections in the proposed budget are reasonable. The county’s proposed 2019 budget complies with the tax levy limit.
Auditors found the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the proposed budget are reasonable. In addition, the city’s proposed real property tax levy complies with its tax levy limit. The council, however, has not yet approved the fees needed to realize the estimated revenues in the newly established refuse fund for solid waste management and bulk refuse collection fees. These fees are necessary to finance the city’s solid waste and recycling collection and disposal services.
The village clerk/treasurer and deputy clerk/treasurer performed incompatible duties, and controlled all aspects of their respective cash functions with little or no oversight. The village did not seek competition for 14 professional services totaling $926,188. In addition, water rates were not clearly documented resulting in underbillings totaling $4,065 and overbillings totaling $7,620 during the period examined.
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