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June 05, 2021

Audits and reports issued during the week ending June 4, 2021 by the New York State Comptroller

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the following audits and reports were issued during the week ending June 4, 2021.

Click on the text highlighted in colorto access the complete audit report.

Local Governments

Auditors conducted reviews of 20 adopted budgets of various counties, cities, towns and villages across the state to assess whether local officials adequately considered the impact of the pandemic on their financial operations while developing their 2021 fiscal year budgets. Below are the findings of some of the communities reviewed:

Adequacy of 2021 Budgets – Town of Big Flats (Chemung County) Town of Big Flats officials adequately assessed the impact of the pandemic on financial operations while developing estimates for significant revenues and expenditures in the 2021 adopted budget.

Adequacy of 2021 Budgets – Village of Camillus (Onondaga County) Village of Camillus officials adequately assessed the impact of the pandemic on financial operations while developing estimates for significant revenues and expenditures in the 2021 adopted budget.

Adequacy of 2021 Budgets – City of Canandaigua (Ontario County) City of Canandaigua officials adequately assessed the impact of the pandemic on financial operations while developing estimates for significant revenues and expenditures in the 2021 adopted budget.

Adequacy of 2021 Budgets – Jefferson County Jefferson County officials adequately assessed the impact of the pandemic on financial operations while developing estimates for significant revenues and expenditures in the 2021 adopted budget.

Adequacy of 2021 Budgets – Town of North Hempstead (Nassau County) Town of North Hempstead officials adequately assessed the impact of the pandemic on financial operations while developing estimates for significant revenues and expenditures in the 2021 adopted budget.

Adequacy of 2021 Budgets – Otsego County Otsego County officials adequately assessed the impact of the pandemic on financial operations while developing estimates for significant revenues and expenditures in the 2021 adopted budget.

Adequacy of 2021 Budgets – Steuben County Steuben County officials adequately assessed the impact of the pandemic on financial operations while developing estimates for significant revenues and expenditures in the 2021 adopted budget.  

Village of Castile – Water Billing for Letchworth State Park (Wyoming County) Village officials did not accurately bill State Parks for water usage. They were using incorrect water usage overage rates since June 2017. As a result, they overbilled State Parks by $7,577. In addition, village officials charged $12,000 in late fees that were not authorized by the contract or contract amendment.

East Meredith Rural Fire District – Financial Activities (Delaware County) The board did not establish adequate controls over cash receipts and disbursements. Auditors found the board did not segregate duties or provide additional oversight over receipts and disbursements to ensure the treasurer accurately recorded all transactions in a timely manner.  

Franklin-Treadwell Fire District – Disbursements (Delaware County) Although district officials had some good controls over disbursements, the board did not always provide adequate oversight of the treasurer’s activities. The Board of Fire Commissioners did not properly segregate duties over disbursements or implement adequate mitigating controls. The treasurer processed 55 electronic transfers and 10 cash withdrawals totaling $856,347 without board oversight. Aside from minor exceptions, which auditors discussed with district officials, disbursements were authorized, supported and for appropriate district purposes. However, the failure to review disbursement activities increases the risk for unauthorized and inappropriate transactions.

Town of Friendship – Justice Court Operations (Allegany County) Although the justices properly collected, recorded and reported fines and fees, they did not deposit and disburse all fines and fees in a timely manner. Auditors found 67 receipts totaling almost $11,000 were not deposited within 72 hours, as required. Monthly accountabilities were not performed. As of Dec.1, 2020 the town board had not completed an audit of the 2018 and 2019 records, as required. As a result, the board’s ability to effectively monitor financial operations of the court was diminished.

Town of Hancock – Justice Court Operations (Delaware County) Fines and fees auditors tested were properly recorded and deposited intact and in a timely manner. However, monthly accountabilities were not performed, and cash balances exceeded known liabilities by $3,436 as of June 30, 2020.

NFC Development Corporation – Project Approval and Monitoring (Niagara County) Corporation officials awarded projects in accordance with established guidelines, but once funds were disbursed, officials generally did not follow up with businesses to ensure they complied with their agreements. Auditors examined 19 project agreements. They found officials did not confirm that the 18 businesses, which agreed to create or retain a total of 96 positions, actually created or retained them. In addition, three of the eight loans reviewed had delinquent payments totaling $39,000. The board also did not receive project status reports and it did not meet as required.

Town of Owasco – Highway Department (Cayuga County) Town officials did not adequately oversee highway purchasing, planning and interfund charges.

Auditors found 596 highway claims totaling $349,824 that did not have an approved purchase order request; 599 claims totaling $356,815 did not have an approved purchase order request; and 234 claims totaling $96,900 did not have documentation to support a business purpose.

Tompkins County Development Corporation – Board Oversight (Tomkins County) The board generally oversaw operations but was unaware that its policy covered the calculation of the administrative fee. As a result, an administrative fee of $88,815 was collected even though only $1,000 should have been collected in accordance with the current board-approved policy.

City of Yonkers – Budget Review (Westchester County) Auditors found that significant revenue and expenditure projections in the adopted budget are not reasonable. In addition, city officials’ continued practice of using debt to pay for recurring costs is imprudent.

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