New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following local government audits were issued.
A former clerk did not deposit, report and remit all collections to the appropriate parties in a timely and accurate manner. Auditors identified a cash shortage of $23,838 during this former clerk’s tenure. The former clerk did not complete monthly bank reconciliations, issue or properly prepare duplicate receipts, or retain receipts for all collections. In addition, the town board did not annually audit the clerk’s records as required. As a result of the audit and subsequent investigation, the former clerk was arrested in November of 2020. The matter is still pending in court.
The board did not provide adequate oversight of the district’s financial operations and did not adopt or enforce key financial policies. As a result, the treasurer lacked guidance to adequately perform financial duties and did not maintain sufficient banking or purchasing records. The treasurer also funded and disbursed money from reserves without authorization and paid unapproved claims. Officials could not demonstrate the district obtained the best available prices on purchases auditors reviewed. In addition, the board adopted inaccurate and structurally imbalanced budgets and did not properly establish, fund or use reserve funds. Fund balances and real property tax levies were higher than needed to fund operations.
Department officers and members did not provide adequate financial oversight. As a result, officers and members were not in a position to monitor and assess the department’s financial status. Existing bylaw provisions were not enforced and adequate accounting and fundraising records were not maintained. Petty cash funds were not properly overseen or accounted for, and $65,658 was disbursed without any review or approval. In addition, auditors found the president routinely signed blank checks. The treasurer’s books and records were not annually audited as required. Required state and federal filings were not completed, and annual budgets were not prepared.
Town officials did not adequately secure and protect the town’s information technology (IT) systems against unauthorized use, access and loss. The board did not adopt adequate IT policies or a disaster recovery plan. Auditors also found officials did not adequately manage user accounts for the network or financial application. In addition, town employees did not comply with the acceptable use policy and officials did not monitor the use of IT resources. Sensitive IT control weaknesses were communicated confidentially to officials.
The justices collected, deposited, disbursed, recorded and reported the fines and fees auditors reviewed in an accurate and timely manner. During the audit period, the justices deposited 2,111 cash receipts totaling $306,087 and made 60 disbursements totaling $318,091. Auditors reviewed a sample of 556 cash receipts totaling $78,948 and all 60 disbursements totaling $318,091. There were no recommendations as a result of this audit.
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