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December 23, 2023

Municipal and School Audits released by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli

On December 21, 2023, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the following local government and school audits were issued.

Click on the text highlighted in color to access both the summary and the complete audit report


Town of Ballston – Water Fund Financial Operations (Saratoga County)
Officials did not provide adequate oversight of water fund operations. As a result, delinquent accounts were not accurately re-levied, and the town did not receive all of the revenue it was entitled to. Officials did not maintain an inventory or list of meters purchased and issued to track costs and ensure rates were applied consistently, and meters were accounted for. In addition, the water clerk inaccurately re-levied all 25 accounts reviewed because she included $3,784 that was not yet overdue. Also, officials did not reconcile water purchased or delivered with water used and could not account for water totaling $300,000. Lastly, to meet minimum purchase requirements, the town paid the Town of
Glenville $135,000 for 38.5 million gallons of water it did not receive or use. Officials could have saved $90,000 of this cost by monitoring water flow.

 

Orleans/Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) – Capital Assets
BOCES’ capital asset records were not complete or accurate to ensure that assets were accounted for and protected from loss, theft, misuse and obsolescence. Auditors selected 94 capital assets purchased for $247,918 and identified one or more exceptions for 49 capital assets purchased for $115,351. Specifically: 27, purchased for $33,349, were not recorded in the capital asset records; 13, purchased for $22,099, were recorded with either an incorrect or missing location; and nine, purchased for $59,571, were recorded without a model or serial number. In addition, a wheel balancer and a portable video magnifier purchased for $4,769 could not be located. These discrepancies occurred because staff did not always follow BOCES’ capital asset inventory policy. BOCES officials also did not verify whether capital asset purchases were recorded in the records and did not investigate discrepancies and update the capital asset records when exceptions were found in the June 2022 fiscal year-end physical inventory.

 

Fairport Central School District – Payroll and Employee Benefits (Monroe County)
District officials generally paid the 33 employees tested accurately and properly calculated their leave accruals. However, one of the five employees that received a retirement incentive should not have been paid $2,000 because they retired prior to the end of the school year, a requirement for this incentive.

 

Cattaraugus-Allegany-Erie-Wyoming Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) – Capital Assets
BOCES’ capital asset records were incomplete and inaccurate. In addition, the BOCES’ purchasing agent was unfamiliar with the requirements of, and did not comply with, BOCES’ capital asset policies. As a result, the required annual inventories were not conducted, and we were unable to locate approximately $31,000 in capital assets, which included tablets, audio equipment, tools, data storage devices and a gaming console. Auditors reviewed capital asset records for 150 assets with a historical recorded cost totaling approximately $149,000 and identified one or more pieces of required information was incorrect or missing from BOCES’ records. Examples of the discrepancies included: 130 assets totaling approximately $133,000 did not have their current value, salvage value or replacement cost recorded; 76 assets totaling approximately $88,000 did not identify the employee to whom the assets were issued; and eight assets totaling approximately $24,000 did not have a recorded serial or identification number.

 

Fire Island Union Free School District – Claims Auditing (Suffolk County)
The board did not properly audit claims before payment. As a result, there was an increased risk that improper or unsupported payments could have been made and may not have been detected and corrected. The board did not develop and adhere to adequate guidance on performing its claims audit duties. Of the 198 claims totaling $258,969 auditors reviewed; 51 claims totaling $82,743 could not be properly audited due to one or more of the following; 17 claims totaling $59,992 contained 53 confirming purchase orders (issued after goods or services were received), which prevented the board’s approval and price verification; and 31 claims totaling $20,714 were missing 28 requestor copies of purchase orders and signatures on another five requestor copies, which prevented the board from ensuring that the business office had authorized payment for the goods and services received. Ten claims totaling $10,980 were missing the audit checklist required by district procedure to verify that all supporting documentation was available for audit of the claim.

 

Herkimer County – Court and Trust Funds
While the treasurer filed an annual report with the Office of the State Comptroller showing court and trust fund activity for 2022, including beginning balances, receipts, payments and ending balances totaling $50,700, the treasurer did not file an annual report for activity in 2021. In addition, the county’s depository did not pay any interest on the court and trust funds or provide the treasurer and the Comptroller’s Office with an annual certificate of cash balances, along with other information, as required by state rules.

 

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