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July 24 2012


Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the audits of the Town of Coventry, Village of Elba, City of Lockport, Town of Morehouse and the Town of Plainfield.

“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."

Town of Coventry – Financial Operations (Chenango County)
The former town supervisor made disbursements the board was not aware of, were not adequately supported and were not allowable. The former supervisor had two personal income tax refunds totaling $1,200 deposited into a town bank account and then wrote town checks to himself for the same amount. The town also reimbursed the former supervisor $595 for 100 percent of the usage of a personal cell phone, which he did not use exclusively for town business.

Village of Elba – Water Accountability (Genesee County)
The village lost an average of 49 percent of the water it produced during the period of June 30, 2010 through December 31, 2011. Village officials were not aware of the extent of the water loss because they did not compare how much water is produced with how much water is billed to customers. Water production costs the village more than $18,000 annually.

City of Lockport – Financial Operations (Niagara County)
The city council, mayor, and other city officials did not ensure that the standard elements of a strong internal control framework were in place. City officials have not implemented policies and procedures for IT, including a computer use policy and adequate controls and restrictions over user access to computers, the financial system, and the Internet. Further, city management has not developed adequate procedures for data backup and storage, or a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.

Town of Morehouse – Records and Reports (Hamilton County)
The town board did not provide adequate oversight of the town’s finances. Further, the town supervisor has not maintained revenue accounts in the accounting software or reconciled bank statement balances of cash to the general ledger cash accounts. The town supervisor also failed to submit monthly or annual reports with the board and has not filed required annual update documents with the Office of the State Comptroller for the last four years.

Town of Plainfield – Financial Operations (Otsego County)
The former town supervisor incorrectly recorded expenditures as assets and prepared bank reconciliations that had cash differences up to $50,000. In addition, the supervisor recorded liabilities, outstanding checks and deposits in transit totaling $255,000 that were not substantiated. Finally, nearly $6,000 in bank fees were drawn from town bank accounts without the board’s knowledge or approval.



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