New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following local government audits has been issued.
District officials did not effectively manage the district’s financial condition, and it declined approximately $1 million during the audit period because of the board’s hindered ability to recognize revenue shortfalls or cost overruns, limiting any potential corrective action. The 2016 through 2020 adopted budgets were not realistic. Revenue and expenditure estimates were not based on prior years’ actual results or trends and did not contain estimates for all known revenues and expenditures. The adopted budgets were also not maintained in the financial accounting software. In addition, no budget-to-actual reports were prepared to monitor the district’s financial health. Comprehensive multiyear strategic, financial and capital plans were also not developed.
District officials did not establish adequate controls over information technology (IT) assets. The board did not develop comprehensive IT policies or procedures. The board also did not enter into a written service level agreement with the IT vendor. In addition, the board did not establish adequate safeguards for online banking transactions. Auditors also found the board did not implement strong access and financial application controls nor did they provide IT security awareness training for employees.
Town officials did not always seek competition, as required, when purchasing goods or obtaining professional services. Of the purchases totaling $455,792 from 35 vendors and 10 professional service providers examined, town officials purchased goods and services totaling $299,046 from 21 vendors and nine providers without using competitive methods. Officials also did not enter into a contract with any of the 10 providers. Auditors found a one-year mowing contract was awarded for $26,000 to a company owned by a board member’s son even though the company was not the lowest bidder. The board also extended the contract for another five years without seeking competition. Although the board was required to document its rationale for awarding the contract to a higher bidder, they did not do so.
The board and authority officials did not effectively pursue and maximize the collection of parking violation tickets. Auditors determined the board and authority officials did not provide oversight and were unaware of inconsistencies in penalty assessment, delinquent notices and collections. The board and authority also did not establish a benchmark collection rate. If the industry standard collection rate of 85 percent was achieved, over the five-year period, the authority would have collected additional revenue totaling $572,609. In addition, the board and authority officials did not review the number or the amount of outstanding tickets or consider alternatives to increase collections.
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