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August 21, 2013

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

 

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Carthage-Wilna Fire District, Village of Clyde, Town of Dayton, Village of Maybrook, Olcott Fire Company, Town of Ontario, Town of Putnam Valley and the Town of Washington.

“My office's audits of local governments improve their financial management practices," DiNapoli said. "These audits are tools for local officials to make sure proper policies and procedures are in place to protect taxpayer dollars and provide the best possible service these taxpayer dollars can deliver."

Carthage-Wilna Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Jefferson County)
The district board provides adequate oversight of district financial activities. The district has adopted purchasing and investment policies, a code of ethics, and has ensured that procedures for financial recording and reporting were developed. Also, monthly financial reports are provided to the board, the secretary-treasurer’s records are audited annually and the annual financial report is filed in a timely manner.

Village of Clyde – Financial Management and Board Oversight (Wayne County)
The village board has adopted budgets that were not based on realistic estimates of expenditures and the village has excessive fund balance in the general fund. In addition, the board has not adopted proper policies or procedures governing information technology, including those related to acceptable use, data backup, online banking, disaster recovery, equipment disposal, and breach notification.

Town of Dayton – Financial Condition (Cattaraugus County)
The town board does not routinely monitor financial operations, adopt reasonable budgets or take appropriate action to maintain financial stability. As a result, the highway town-wide fund has a deficit and the general and highway town-outside-village funds have unexpended surplus funds that are excessive.

Village of Maybrook – Water Operations (Orange County)
The village’s internal controls over water operations need to be improved. The water clerk’s duties were not properly segregated and interfund advances were not accurately accounted for, reconciled, or repaid. Auditors detected errors in more than 17 percent of the water bills that were reviewed, and more than $1,100 of customer account adjustments without documented prior approval. In addition, as of May 2012, the water fund owed the general fund approximately $126,000.

Olcott Fire Company, Inc. – Financial Operations (Niagara County)
The fire company board did not provide adequate oversight of financial operations. As a result, company resources were spent unnecessarily. Auditors identified $8,500 in payments for services and equipment that were never used. In addition, the company treasurer inappropriately reimbursed himself $1,162 for fees associated with his personal credit card and for unsubstantiated restaurant purchases.

Town of Ontario – Board Oversight and Information Technology (Wayne County)
The town board had consistently adopted budgets with inaccurate estimates for revenues, expenditures and the amount of available fund balance. These inaccurate budgets led to the accumulation of significant fund balances in the general and water funds and, conversely, dangerously low fund balance in the sewer district fund. In addition, the board has not established comprehensive information technology policies and procedures.

Town of Putnam Valley – Purchasing (Putnam County)
Internal controls over the town’s purchasing process were properly designed and operating effectively. Auditors found that town officials obtained appropriate competition when soliciting purchases from 26 vendors who were each paid more than $20,000. All transactions examined were for proper town business purposes, and were supported by contracts, board resolutions and appropriately itemized invoices.

Town of Washington – Information Technology (Dutchess County)
The town board did not adopt a comprehensive IT security plan or a disaster recovery plan. Without a proper IT security plan and a disaster recovery plan in place there is an increased risk that town data, hardware and software systems may be lost or damaged by unauthorized access and use, or disaster.



For access to state and local government spending and more than 60,000 state contracts, visit http://www.openbooknewyork.com/. The easy-to-use website was created by Comptroller DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.

 

 

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