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January 17, 2013

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Town of Cortlandville, Town of Dresden, Eagle Matt Lee Fire Company Number One, Town of Mount Morris, Town of Parma, Town of Rensselaerville, Village of Scotia and the Union Fire Company #2.

“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 Cortlandville – Fuel Purchases (Cortland County)
Auditors reviewed the town’s fuel purchases from January 2011 through June 2012 totaling approximately $184,850 and found that officials made purchases in excess of the bidding threshold without obtaining competitive bids. Although the town highway superintendent did not seek competition for the town’s fuel purchases, the town paid the lowest price compared to available state and county contract prices.

Town of Dresden – Board Oversight of Financial Activities (Washington County)
The town supervisor has not fulfilled basic financial responsibilities and has failed to comply with various state reporting requirements.  Financial records are incomplete or missing and there is no way to accurately determine the town’s financial condition. Given the lack of records and the supervisor’s control over all aspects of the town’s finances, there is no way to be sure that all funds have been accounted for and used solely for town purposes.

Eagle Matt Lee Fire Company Number One Inc. – Financial Operations (Saratoga County)
Auditors found controls over the fire company’s fiscal activities were weak. The company board failed to provide adequate guidance to those responsible for receiving and depositing cash and exercised little oversight of the company treasurer. Also, revenue and expenditure ledgers are not maintained, bank reconciliations are not performed and the bank statements are not reviewed by anyone other than the company treasurer.

Town of Mount Morris – Justice Court (Livingston County)
Current town justices have developed adequate internal controls over the court’s financial operations, with the exception of performing accountabilities.  Both the justices and the town board provided adequate oversight and balanced their checkbooks to ensure that cash was properly safeguarded. 

Town of Parma – Financial Management and Information Technology (Monroe County)
The town board did not adopt reasonable budgets that were based on realistic estimates of revenues and expenditures. The board did not audit or contract with an independent accountant to audit the books and records of the town supervisor or town clerk. Further, the town board has not adopted comprehensive IT policies and procedures or a disaster recovery plan.

Town of Rensselaerville – Financial Operations (Albany County)
The town’s accounting records are in poor condition and do not provide an accurate portrait of its financial condition. The town’s general fund was overstated by a total of $247,036 in fiscal year 2011, which was 30 percent of the budgeted revenues. The town supervisor did not maintain complete, accurate and up-to-date accounting records.

Village of Scotia – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Schenectady County)
Auditors indentified weaknesses in the controls over the collection, recording, reconciliation, and enforcement of parking ticket fines. By participating in the New York State Department of Motor Vehicle Scofflaw Program for addressing unpaid violations, the village could potentially increase its parking fine revenues by nearly $23,000.

Union Fire Company #2 Inc. – Financial Operations (Saratoga County)
Controls over the fire company’s fiscal activities are weak. The company board failed to provide adequate guidance to those responsible for receiving and depositing cash and exercised little oversight of the company treasurer and other officials. Check registers are not maintained to document bank deposits, withdrawals, or cash balances and auditors found no authorization for $7,500 of non-check bank withdrawals that occurred during the audit period.

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