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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli


Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli
Issued during the week ending April 26, 2013 [Click on text highlighted in bold to access the full report] 


Bloomingburg Joint Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Sullivan County)
The district board did not ensure that disbursements were made for authorized district purposes. The board did not adequately segregate duties or implement sufficient compensating controls. The district treasurer performs all aspects of the cash disbursements process – including preparing the monthly abstracts; printing, signing, and mailing the checks; and preparing the bank reconciliations – without sufficient oversight by the board.


Village of Depew – Internal Controls Over Capital Projects (Erie County)
Auditors found significant problems with the accounting for and reporting of capital project activity as well as the use of certain debt proceeds. The village did not maintain capital project records in a manner that readily provides information about actual resources committed and expenditures incurred throughout the course of each project, which often span two or more fiscal years.


Essex County Probation Department – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2013M-38)
County and department officials had not established an adequate system of internal controls over the department’s financial operations. As a result, cash receipts were not properly accounted for, secured, and deposited in a timely manner. The department’s failure to establish policies and procedures regarding DWI administrative fees has resulted in an inequitable assessment of fees to probationers and a lack of enforcement of inactive probationers’ delinquent accounts. For example, we found that 89 inactive probationers owe at least $9,710, but as much as $58,260, to the county for unpaid fees.


Essex County Sheriff’s Department – Internal Controls Over Cash Receipts and Disbursements (2013M-35)
Although the department established a money-handling policy in April 2012, cash receipts and disbursements were not processed in accordance with the policy. Auditors found the civil clerk performed virtually all financial duties without sufficient oversight or other mitigating controls. Bail and civil office cash receipts were not properly accounted for, secured, and deposited in a timely manner. Also, the department’s computer system allowed for the ability to modify and delete financial transactions, creating the opportunity for the manipulation and concealment of transactions.


Town of Johnsburg – Management Oversight and Online Banking (Warren County)
The town board did not adequately design, implement, or monitor internal controls over the town’s financial activities. The board did not conduct an annual audit of the records of officials and employees who receive and disburse cash. The town supervisor has not adequately segregated the bookkeeper’s online banking duties. Also, the town has not established a confirmation process with its bank for online transfers of town moneys.


Town of North Castle – Cash Disbursement (Westchester County)
Internal controls over cash disbursement are appropriately designed and operating effectively with the exception of bank reconciliations, which have not been prepared since May 2012. Because the town’s deposits total $26 million, the lack of bank reconciliations creates a risk that errors or fraudulent transactions could occur without detection.


Town of Owego Fire District – Board Oversight (Tioga County)
The district board did not audit and approve claims after the transactions occurred and prior to the treasurer paying those claims. Although the board did ensure that the goods purchased were for district purposes, they could not be sure that the amounts paid were aligned with its previously established expectations. In addition, district officials could not account for more than 50 percent of fuel delivered to two of the three district fire stations.


Rescue Fire Company, Inc. – Unaccounted-For Bar Receipts (Niagara County)
All four bar committee members had unmonitored access to the safe where the cash from bar operations was stored.  The board did not require bar committee members to have a second member present while conducting cash counts or adding or removing cash from the safe. Company officials said over the last several years, the bar committee chairman was able to divert cash from the cash register in the bar without their knowledge.


Village of Village of the Branch – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Suffolk County)
The village building inspector did not take an oath of office and, as generally required of a village officer, does not reside within the village. In addition, the village and the inspector have entered into a contract, which provides for an annual fee for basic services of $8,000 plus 50 percent of certain permit fees. During the audit period, the inspector received $84,197, nearly $73,000 of which was based on fees collected for building permits.  Because there is no cap on the amount of fees paid to the building inspector, the village cannot know whether the inspector’s compensation is excessive in any given year.


Beacon City School District – Budget Review (Dutchess County)
Auditors found that the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the preliminary budget are reasonable. The district’s proposed budget complies with the property tax levy limit.


Chenango Valley Central School District – Budget Review (Broome County)
Auditors found that the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the proposed budget are reasonable. The district’s proposed budget complies with the property tax levy limit.


Fairport Central School District – Financial Condition and Capital Improvement Project Expenditures (Monroe County)
The district’s budgeting practices have generated repeated operating surpluses and withheld significant funds from productive use. From fiscal year 2007-08 through 2011-12, the district generated net surpluses totaling $15.8 million, an average of $3.2 million in each year. Auditors also found we found that officials did not solicit proposals for $2.7 million in capital improvement project -related services, as required by the district policy.


Monroe-Woodbury Central School District (Orange County)
Auditors found that the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the proposed budget are reasonable. The district’s proposed budget complies with the property tax levy limit.


Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School District – Business Office Operations (Fulton County)
Auditors found the district established adequate internal controls over business office operations. Board policies and written procedures have been developed and adhered to by staff for cash receipts and disbursements, payroll, purchasing, and claims processing. Further, district officials developed appropriate segregation of duties amongst business office staff where possible and also implemented various reviews of the work performed as mitigating controls.

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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.

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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