Saturday, October 05, 2013

Audits of municipalities issued by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli during the week ending October 5, 2013

Audits of municipalities issued by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli during the week ending October 5, 2013.
Click on text highlighted in color to access the full report

Comptroller DiNapoli’s office periodically audits local governments to assist them to 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 Alexander – Internal Controls Over Justice Court Operations (Genesee County)
A town justice does not deposit money in a timely manner, file accurate monthly reports, maintain an accurate listing of bail, or maintain a reliable cash receipts record. Auditors also found a $721 shortage in the account of another justice. In addition, town justices do not issue appropriate duplicate receipts or properly report pending and disposed cases to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Town of Amherst – Recording Financial Activity and Fleet Management (Erie County)
Auditors found that the town comptroller has not properly accounted for and reported reserve funds and other restricted moneys. The town comptroller does not record reserve activity in the financial system, but rather accounts for certain reserves separately and in some cases does not maintain any record of the reserves. This resulted in more than $2 million, which should have been used for debt service, remaining idle since 2004.

Broome County – Financial Condition (2013M-224)
While the county’s general fund seems to be in recovery, the significant reliance and use of fund balance to finance operations has impacted the county’s cash flow.

Town of Coeymans – Recordkeeping and Cash Disbursements (Albany County)
The town’s annual financial report did not properly reflect the true financial condition of the sewer district fund. Also, there is an inadequate segregation of duties for payroll. The payroll clerk’s duties include making changes to salaries and wages but she is also capable of submitting data changes directly to the payroll-processing contractor without approval, and there is no comparison of the amounts of the payroll checks to the payroll journals after they are prepared.

Franklin County – Fiscal Stress (2013M-252)
The county’s general fund realized annual operating deficits, declining fund balance, and declining cash balance over the last four fiscal years (2009 to 2012). In addition, the county did not have sufficient cash to pay its bills and other obligations when due, resulting in the county issuing short-term debt in the form of a tax anticipation note for $4 million on May 31, 2013.

Village of Liberty – Financial Condition (Sullivan County)
The village clerk-treasurer did not maintain the village’s accounting records in an accurate manner. As a result, in two of the last five fiscal years, village officials appropriated more fund balance than was available in the general fund. Also, the board has not developed long-term funding plans to address the village’s deteriorating financial position.

Town of Middlebury – Purchasing (Wyoming County)
The town did not follow its competitive bidding policy when it purchased $10,362 of unleaded gasoline and $33,068 of diesel fuel from a local vendor. In addition, the town purchased a tractor in April 2012 for $38,200 without publicly soliciting bids as required.

Montgomery County – Financial Condition (2013M-234)
The county’s declining financial condition is the result of poor budgeting and financial management practices and the failure to develop and use long-term financial plans. For example, the board did not adopt realistic and structurally balanced budgets and instead consistently relied on appropriating fund balance to finance recurring expenditures. As of Dec. 31, 2012, the county reported a total fund balance of $11.4 million in the general fund, a decline of 41 percent from the Jan. 1, 2010 total fund balance of $19.2 million.

Village of Mount Morris – Justice Court (Livingston County)
The cash account of a village justice had a shortage of at least $1,200. The shortage occurred because the justice failed to oversee the work of his former court clerk and account for all moneys received and disbursed through the court. Auditors found that the former court clerk altered and deleted computerized receipts, did not deposit cash receipts timely and intact, and failed to reconcile bank accounts.

Town of Rossie – Records and Reports and Cash Disbursements (St. Lawrence County)
The town supervisor did not maintain accurate computerized accounting records and reports. In addition, the supervisor filed the town’s annual financial report with the Office of the State Comptroller 116 days late for 2008, 112 days late for 2009 and 374 days late for 2010. As of December 2012, the supervisor had not filed the annual financial report for 2011.

Saratoga County – Financial Condition (2013M-235)
Although the county board of supervisors adopted realistic budgets, the general fund’s financial position and the fund used to account for the operations of the county-run nursing home have shown negative trends. Specifically, the total general fund balance decreased 41 percent, from $24.7 million at Jan. 1, 2010, to $10.3 million at Dec. 31, 2012 due, in part, to subsidizing the nursing home.

N. B. The Comptroller has created an easy to use website on the Internet to provide access to state and local government spending and nearly 50,000 state contracts at 


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

The Discipline Book at

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at

The Disability Benefits E-book: at

Layoff, Preferred Lists at


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