New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following local government audits have been issued.
Auditors found that fines and fees were generally recorded accurately and deposited in a timely manner. The justices submitted monthly reports and remitted all fines and fees to the appropriate parties. However, monthly bank reconciliations and accountabilities were not consistently prepared.
Auditors reviewed 356 tax payments totaling $520,000 and found they were recorded properly but were not always remitted to the appropriate parties in a timely manner. Clerk fees were recorded accurately, properly reported and remitted. However, collections totaling more than $5,900 were not deposited in a timely manner as required.
The board and town officials have not adopted IT policies and procedures for disaster recovery, backups and breach notification. In addition, employees were not provided with IT security awareness training to ensure they understand the policies and how they could help protect IT assets and computerized data. The IT consultant or town officials also did not maintain an up-to-date inventory of hardware or software.
The board needs to improve its monitoring of financial operations and take timely action to maintain the town’s financial stability. The board did not adopt structurally balanced budgets and did not monitor the budgets throughout the year. As a result, the town accumulated excessive fund balances in its general funds of about $1 million and deficit fund balances in its highway funds of over $1.1 million at the end of 2017. When combined together, the general and highway town-wide funds ended 2017 with a deficit fund balance of about $166,000. The board did not fully understand the impact of appropriating fund balance each year. As a result, it did not adopt structurally balanced budgets that provided for sufficient recurring revenues to finance recurring expenditures.
The board did not adopt adequate policies and procedures or necessary controls. Auditors found that there were 128 residential property owners within the district who were not billed for water use during 2017. In addition, the duties assigned to the water clerk created substantial weaknesses in internal controls and no evidence was presented to auditors to indicate that the board reviewed her work.
Auditors reviewed the county clerk’s, surrogate’s court’s and commissioner’s processes, procedures and records for the receipt and management of court and trust funds as well as estates in the commissioner’s custody. They found that the records maintained were generally up-to-date and complete and noted no material discrepancies.
The board did not develop or adopt comprehensive, multiyear financial and capital plans. Such plans would be useful tools to outline the board’s intentions for financing future capital improvements and maintaining the existing infrastructure.
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