New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following local government audits have been issued.
Overall, auditors found court funds were properly recorded, deposited and reported during our audit period. Corrective actions were recommended, however, after auditors found the board’s annual audit of the justices’ books and records is inadequate because it primarily relies on the clerk to perform the review procedures. Also, auditors found none of the justices prepared monthly accountabilities or bank reconciliations. In addition, cash in a retired justice’s bank account exceeded known liabilities by a total of $1,104.
The Board of Fire Commissioners (Board) did not establish adequate controls over cash receipts and disbursements. The Board did not segregate duties or provide additional oversight over receipts and disbursements to ensure the treasurer recorded all transactions accurately and timely. The Board did not comply with New York State Town Law Section 176. Thirty debit card purchases totaling $4,680 were not audited and approved before payment.
District officials have not established adequate controls to ensure that financial activities are properly recorded and reported, and cash is safeguarded. There were no records to support the collection of hall rental receipts. As a result, the Board of Fire Commissioners, the district’s treasurer or auditors are unable to verify whether all hall rental receipts were collected and deposited in a district bank account.
Officials did not adopt policies and procedures guiding the handling of foreign fire insurance (FFI) tax money and provide oversight to ensure accurate records were maintained, and adequate supporting documentation and approvals were obtained. The Chamberlain did not maintain custody of the FFI tax money. The fire chief was solely responsible for disbursing, recording and reporting all transactions related to FFI tax money.
Online banking transactions that were reviewed were appropriate, properly supported and authorized, however the board should ensure transactions are secure. The board did not adopt a written online banking policy or implement adequate procedures to monitor and control online banking transactions.
In addition, a dedicated computer was used for online banking but authorized users were not provided with security awareness training.
The Justice Court did not properly account for court funds. The Justice was unaware that in August 2016 the court clerk deposited $6,525 belonging to a neighboring village’s justice court for which she also worked. The error was corrected in October 2016 when she transferred the money between two accounts. The justice was unaware that the court clerk filed 11 of 15 monthly reports of money collected (73 percent) to the JCF after the due date. On average, reports were 14 days late.
Town officials did not develop adequate policies and procedures over department cash collections and did not ensure that cash is deposited timely. Officials did not provide adequate oversight of the department cash receipts process and the duties of the recreation director, and department staff responsibilities were inadequately segregated. Department staff did not deposit 543 collections totaling $42,861 (composed of cash and checks) within 10 days, as required. For example, in July 2019, one deposit (composed of $3,085 in cash and $10,810 in checks) was deposited between 11 and 69 days after the collections.
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