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Office of the State Comptroller - Local Government & School Accountability
Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Village of Canton – Justice Court (2012M-140)


Released: November 16, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the Court's recordkeeping and reporting procedures and to review the Court's internal controls for the period of August 1, 2010, to August 22, 2011.

Background

The Village of Canton is located in the Town of Canton in St. Lawrence County. The Village is governed by a Village Board, consisting of a Mayor and four Trustees. The Board provides general administrative services including the Village Justice Court. The Justices reported $169,400 in fines, fees, and surcharges to the JCF during the period of August 2010 to July 2011.

Key Findings

We found significant weaknesses in the Court's internal controls and a lack of oversight of the Court's operations by the Justices and the Board.

  • The Justices have not ensured that the clerks performed bank reconciliations or accountability analyses to account for all Court funds.
  • The clerks performed all of the key aspects of the Court's cash accounting functions with limited oversight, and the Justices did not ensure that clerk duties were adequately segregated.
  • Justice Sheesley did not meet basic requirements when leaving office.
  • The Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer conducted the annual audit of the Court's records and noted that bank reconciliations were not being performed, but the Board took no corrective action.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that bank reconciliations and accountability analyses are properly performed on a monthly basis.
  • Establish policies and procedures that address adequate segregation of cash custody and recordkeeping duties, or ensure that compensating controls are implemented such as supervisory or Board oversight.
  • Ensure that a Justice who resigns his or her official position with the Village meets all requirements upon resignation.
  • Address any issues identified during the annual audit of the Court's financial records.

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