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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Cayuga County Water and Sewer Authority – Billings and Collections (2017M-107)


Released: October 20, 2017 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether the Authority was accurately and appropriately billing and collecting water and sewer rents for the period January 1, 2015 through March 24, 2017.

Background

The Cayuga County Water and Sewer Authority is an independent public benefit corporation located in Cayuga County, created by the New York State Legislature in 1995 to serve residents and commercial entities with water and sewer services within the County. The Authority is governed by an appointed nine-member Board of Directors. Budgeted appropriations for 2017 total approximately $1.7 million.

Key Findings

  • Four employees are authorized to collect water and sewer payments, but there is only one cash drawer, and one of these employees has incompatible duties including generating bills and preparing and recording deposits.
  • Authority officials did not reconcile their property information to information from the County or municipalities for billing purposes, which resulted in the incorrect billing of 82 properties and a potential loss of $10,200 in annual revenue.
  • Officials did not periodically verify water meter readings for wholesale customers for billings totaling $855,000.

Key Recommendations

  • Provide written guidance to ensure that the individuals responsible for billing, collecting and reconciling water and sewer accounts are identifiable and that their duties are properly segregated, or provide mitigating controls.
  • Ensure that reconciliations are performed between the property master list and the County tax roll to ensure that all parcels are properly billed.
  • Periodically verify wholesale customers’ meter readings.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236