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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

12/23/14, 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 Town of Broome, Candor Fire District, County of Clinton Industrial Development Agency, Dutchess County, Genesee County, Georgetown Fire District, Greene County, Hewlett Bay Fire District, Long Lake Fire District No. 1, Town of Milford, New Woodstock Fire District, Town of Pierrepont and the City and Town of Poughkeepsie Joint Water Project.

“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.”

Town of Broome – Purchasing and Justice Court (Schoharie County)
The board did not ensure purchases were made at the lowest cost, in compliance with the town’s procurement policy, and used for proper Town purposes. The board also did not provide oversight to ensure the town justice recorded, deposited and disbursed all court money accurately and timely.

Candor Fire District – Controls Over Financial Activities (Tioga County)
The board did not ensure that the monthly budget-to-actual reports provided by the treasurer were complete and that miscellaneous revenues collected were recorded and deposited. In addition, the board attempted to segregate cash receipt duties by having the treasurer open the mail and forward all money received to a board member for deposit. However, there was no audit trail beginning with the initial point of cash collection to show the amounts the treasurer actually received.

County of Clinton Industrial Development Agency – Project Monitoring (2014M-205)
The board did not design and implement an adequate system to monitor IDA approved projects. For example, IDA officials did not have a system in place to track the amounts directly billed and collected by taxing jurisdictions for payments in lieu of taxes. The IDA also did not have an effective process in place to monitor and evaluate agreed-upon job expectations, which may have helped avoid a shortfall of 100 jobs for eight of the 10 projects reviewed.

Dutchess County – Court and Trust (2014M-293)
The records maintained by the surrogate’s court were generally up-to-date and complete. However, the condition of all court and trust funds were not reported to the Office of State Comptroller as required. Reports on the condition of court and trust funds was correct, however they did not include detailed descriptions of the projects closed during the 2013 fiscal year.

Genesee County – Court and Trust (2014M-322)
The records maintained by the surrogate’s court were generally up-to-date and complete. However, the clerk does not make an entry into the court and trust fund register of the money ordered to be paid.
Georgetown Fire District – Board Oversight (Madison County)
Board members did not ensure that complete and accurate accounting records were maintained, bank reconciliations were performed, annual financial reports were prepared and filed in a timely manner, and that the treasurer’s records were annually audited. Furthermore, because the records were in such poor condition, the board was precluded from fully understanding the district’s financial condition.

Greene County – Court and Trust (2014M-294)
The records maintained by the surrogate’s court and county clerk were generally up-to-date and complete. However, auditors identified $66,637 in funds that have not been turned over to the Office of State Comptroller as abandoned property, even though the funds have been in the custody of the treasurer for more than three years.

Hewlett Bay Fire District – Professional Services and Information Technology (Nassau County)
The board did not develop adequate procedures that required the solicitation of competition for the procurement of professional services. As a result, officials did not solicit competitive proposals for eight of the nine professionals who provided services totaling $150,800 during the audit period. In addition, the board has not adopted a comprehensive IT policy.

Long Lake Fire District No. 1 – Controls Over Financial Activities (Hamilton County)
The treasurer maintained adequate records of the district’s financial activity and provided detailed monthly and quarterly reports to the board. However, the treasurer has not filed an annual financial report with the Office of State Comptroller since August 2011.

Town of Milford – Justice Court Operations (Otsego County)
Although all three town justices deposited and disbursed court money properly during the audit period, they did not always ensure it was completely collected or accurately recorded and reported. Of 78 cases reviewed, auditors found various deficiencies among 39 cases.

New Woodstock Fire District – Controls Over Financial Activities (Madison County)
The secretary-treasurer maintained adequate financial records and the board generally provided adequate oversight of district financial activities. However, the district has not filed its annual financial report with the Office of State Comptroller for the last four years.

Town of Pierrepont – Fiscal Stress (St. Lawrence County)
The board adopted budgets that relied too heavily on appropriated fund balance as a financing source. Furthermore, the board did not require the bookkeeper to submit estimates of year-end fund balance and did not adopt a policy to determine the amount of unrestricted, unappropriated fund balance to maintain. This has led to significant reductions in the town’s fund balances from the beginning of 2011 to the end of 2013. In addition, the board has not developed a multiyear financial and capital plan to address the town’s long-term priorities.

City and Town of Poughkeepsie Joint Water Project – Board Oversight (Dutchess County)
The board does not ensure the joint water project is operated in accordance with the intermunicipal cooperation agreements. The board does not require the city to make its quarterly estimated payments for operating costs.

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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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