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Comptroller releases municipal audits

ALBANY - State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office completed the audits of the Town of Binghamton, Town of Decatur, Town of Fallsburg, Hamilton College Sewer District, Village of Marathon and the Plainview Water District.

Town of Binghamton – Selected Financial Operations and Information Technology (Broome County)
The town supervisor did not design adequate financial controls and town officials did not provide the proper oversight for the collection or disbursement of town moneys. Auditors found that officials cannot be sure that all moneys paid to the town are accurately recorded and deposited intact into a town bank account and that disbursements are made for only proper town purposes. As a result, the town’s youth recreation programs had recorded insufficient revenues, and adjustments were made to water and sewer bills without proper authorization.

Town of Decatur – Financial Operations (Otsego County)
The town board and town supervisor did not ensure that disbursements were for proper purposes and that financial reports were an accurate summary of the town’s financial activities.  Also, the town supervisor submitted financial reports to the town board that were not always accurate.

Town of Fallsburg – Information Technology (Sullivan County)
Town employees’ user rights are not assigned based on job responsibilities and the town’s computer servers are not located in secure locations. In addition, a disaster recovery plan has not been adopted, including a back-up power source for the servers. As a result, there is an increased risk that computerized data could be lost or compromised and that town operations could be seriously disrupted.

Hamilton College Sewer District – Internal Controls Over Sewer District Financial Operations (Oneida County)
The sewer district board has not properly segregated the duties of the district clerk who is responsible for maintaining the customer file, preparing and mailing sewer bills, and collecting, recording and preparing deposits.  Although the district treasurer does periodically review the clerk’s sewer billing and receipt records, there are no procedures to ensure that all customers are billed accurately.

Village of Marathon – Financial Condition of the Water Fund and Selected Operations (Cortland County)
The mayor and village board did not adequately manage the financial condition of the water fund, which has led to a deficit fund balance of more than $172,000 as of May 31, 2011. The board caused the deficit by adopting budgets that required unexpended surplus funds that were not available and by failing to control expenditures within budgeted amounts. The board has begun to address the financial condition of the water fund by increasing water rates and improving its procedures for adopting budgets.

Plainview Water District – Board Oversight and Other Financial Related Activities (Nassau County)
The water district board did not require or review budget status reports, resulting in the over-expenditure of the general fund by $769,330 in 2010. In addition, the district has more than $2.7 million of available capital reserve funds, yet continued to issue debt to finance capital projects. Auditors also found the district superintendent’s annual leave accruals exceeded the provisions of his employment agreement and the district’s code of ethics did not address or establish procedures in relation to hiring, supervising and evaluating the performance of family members.