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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

August 22, 2014, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Village of Clifton Springs, Columbia County, Town of Eagle, Town of LeRay, Village of New York Mills, Town of Norwich, Village of Port Byron, Town of Queensbury, Village of Richfield Springs, Village of Waverly and West Hill Fire District No. 3.

“In today’s fiscal climate, budget transparency and accountability for our local communities is a top priority,” said DiNapoli. “By auditing municipal finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively.”

Village of Clifton Springs – Board Oversight (Ontario County)
The board has generally adopted adequate policies and procedures, but there are still areas in need of improvement. The board does not complete an adequate, documented annual audit of the village justice’s and clerk-treasurer’s records. Additionally, although the board regularly discusses plans for future equipment purchases, a formal, long-term financial plan has not been developed.

Columbia County – Payroll (2014M-121)
Auditors found that the county overpaid $18,724 to employees for time not worked, or for leave time taken and not charged to leave accruals. This occurred because none of the departments examined had an effective system for reporting and recording time and attendance. Some county employees are not required to document their hours worked, and others report and approve their own attendance and leave records without independent verification and oversight.

Town of Eagle – Wind Power Revenues (Wyoming County)
The town’s use of wind power revenues was reasonable. However, the board did not ensure that wind power revenues were properly reviewed for accuracy. Consequently, town officials were unaware the town was not receiving the correct amount of host community licensing fees. As a result, from January 2009 through March 2014 the town was underpaid approximately $356,000.

Town of LeRay – Justice Court (Jefferson County)
The court has not properly collected, reported and remitted moneys received. Cash receipts of $892 were recorded but never deposited into court bank accounts; the court has not reported and remitted $7,542 to the Office of the State Comptroller Justice Court Fund; outstanding bail of $7,200, more than six years old, has not been remitted to the town as required; and the traffic violations reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles are not up-to-date.

Village of New York Mills – Justice Court (Oneida County)
The court has not properly recorded and remitted moneys received. The court had an excess of $5,860 in unidentified revenue and is holding $3,650 in bail money that is more than six years old. Further, the court is not properly reporting unresolved traffic tickets to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Town of Norwich – Justice Court (Chenango County)
The court has properly collected and remitted moneys received. However, the court is not reporting unresolved traffic tickets to the Department of Motor Vehicles in a timely manner.

Village of Port Byron – Financial Monitoring and Information Technology (Cayuga County)
The board did not monitor the village’s finances. The board did not ensure that duties in the clerk-treasurer’s office were properly segregated or provide mitigating controls. In addition, the board has not established policies and procedures related to acceptable use, computer security, breach notification or online banking.

Town of Queensbury – Justice Court (Warren County)
The court has properly collected and remitted moneys received. However, the court is not reporting scofflaw traffic violation offenders to the Department of Motor Vehicles in a timely manner. In addition, auditors identified weaknesses with the court’s information technology system.

Village of Richfield Springs – Justice Court (Otsego County)
The court has properly collected and remitted moneys received. However, the court is not reporting potential traffic violation offenders to the Department of Motor Vehicles in a timely manner. In addition, auditors found weak information technology controls and a lack of timely monitoring of outstanding tickets.

Village of Waverly – Financial Condition (Tioga County)
Officials have relied heavily on appropriated fund balance to cover the shortfall between revenues and expenditures. For fiscal years 2011-12 through 2013-14, the village’s adopted budgets included a total of $650,000 in appropriated fund balance as a financing source in order to reduce the need for significant increases in the real property tax levy.

West Hill Fire District No. 3 – Financial Condition (Chemung County)
At the end of 2013, the district’s unassigned fund balance totaled almost $178,000. This occurred primarily because in 2008 and 2009 the district received unexpected insurance proceeds totaling about $157,000. The board currently has no plans to use the existing unassigned fund balance to reduce future real property tax levies.

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For access to state and local government spending and nearly 50,000 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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