New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following audits were issued.
Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego (DCMO) Board of Cooperative Educational Services – Procurement (2021M-193)
The purchasing agent did not ensure that goods and services were procured in accordance with the purchasing policy and procedures. Auditors reviewed 22 purchases and found seven purchases totaling $49,300 where competition was not sought, as required by the board-adopted policy. Staff could not provide documentation to support efforts were made to obtain the best price. None of the 10 professional service providers reviewed with payments totaling $250,200 were evaluated every three years.
The board did not develop and adopt realistic budgets or determine how much fund balance should be maintained. As a result, the town maintained unreasonable fund balance levels, which ultimately resulted in a higher-than-necessary tax levy. The board consistently underestimated revenues in the general and highway funds. As a result, unrestricted fund balance in these funds increased by 45% during the past three years to approximately $735,000 as of December 31, 2020, or 69% of the 2021 fund appropriations. The board also did not establish and adopt comprehensive, written, multiyear financial and capital plans or fund balance and reserve policies.
COIDA did not adequately plan for the 2017 acquisition of the rail yards. The property was acquired based on a $6 million to $20 million development plan, without an interested developer. Auditors found no indication that the board of directors had significant discussions of the pros and cons of developing the property. Subsequent to the property acquisition, COIDA officials learned that a large-scale timber operation would be the only type of local industry that could take advantage of the property as a rail yard and be profitable. The board decided this was not in county residents’ best interest due to cost and environmental factors.
Officials were unable to readily determine the complete financial history and position of individual projects or determine the correct capital project fund balance because the chamberlain did not maintain complete, up-to-date capital projects records for each project. The council also did not approve capital projects budgets, monitor their financial results, or approve the close-out of projects and city officials did not properly close out 279 of 308 capital projects. The records included completed projects that date back to 1987.
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