Department of Agriculture and Markets

Controls Over State Fair Payroll

The payroll costs for the annual New York State Fair total about the $1.2 million. Most of the employees are hired temporarily by the Department of Agriculture and Markets at the time of the Fair. We audited the internal control system established by the Department for the Fairís payroll and identified significant weaknesses. For example, most of the employees were not required to sign in or out each day or maintain any other documentation to support their daily attendance. While we were able to verify the accuracy of the reported work hours for most of the employees in our sample, there were some discrepancies and some employees we could not locate.

We also found temporary employees remained active on the payroll indefinitely. This control weakness greatly increased the risk that paychecks could improperly be generated for individuals who did not actually work at the Fair. This risk was exacerbated by another control weakness: a single employee was responsible for all payroll-related duties at the Fair, adding employees to and terminating employees from the payroll, verifying the hours worked and the amounts paid to employees, entering payroll information into the State payroll system, mailing out pay checks, and handling undelivered checks. We recommended certain actions be taken to strengthen controls over the Fairís payroll.

For a complete copy of Report 2007-S-130 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.