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Comptroller releases municipal audits

ALBANY - State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office completed audits of the Village of Arcade, Town of Ballston, Town of Eastchester, Halfmoon-Waterford Fire District No. 1, Village of Herrings, Village of Lewiston, Village/Town of Mount Kisco, Town of Northampton and the Town of North East.


Village of Arcade – Internal Controls Over Purchasing (Wyoming County)
The village board did not establish procedures to ensure that the correct prices were obtained when purchasing goods through New York State Office of General Services contracts. The board did not verify they received state contract pricing for nine purchases and overpaid approximately $5,500 for four of these purchases. In addition, the board did not ensure that village officials followed the procurement policy or statutory bidding requirements. Village officials purchased three loaders totaling $271,491 without soliciting competitive bids.

Town of Ballston – Water Fund Financial Operations (Saratoga County)
The town’s accounting records were not properly maintained. As a result, officials have not received accurate and timely information necessary to evaluate the water fund’s fiscal health and take appropriate corrective action. The town reported a fund balance of $520,771 in its water fund at the end of 2011, but auditors found the water fund balance was overstated by at least $271,264. Auditors also found weaknesses in internal controls over the billing and collection of water user charges.

Town of Eastchester – Parking Ticket Collections (Westchester County)
The town court’s parking ticket collection rate exceeded 85 percent during fiscal years 2010 through 2012. Despite the high collection rate, the court still had $1.9 million in cumulative unpaid parking tickets outstanding as of May 31, 2012. This included 10,599 unpaid parking tickets totaling $851,906 that have been outstanding for more than five years and 9,526 unpaid parking tickets totaling $1 million outstanding for less than five years.

Halfmoon-Waterford Fire District No. 1 – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Saratoga County)
The district board did not provide adequate oversight of financial activities and the district treasurer did not provide accounting information to an independent public accountant in a timely manner. As a result, the district did not receive its 2010 and 2011 annual reports from an independent auditor until March 2013.

Village of Herrings – Financial Operations and Sale of Land (Jefferson County)
The village board did not provide adequate oversight of the fiscal duties of the clerk-treasurer. The former village clerk-treasurer did not create or maintain cash journals, general ledgers or subsidiary revenue and expenditure ledgers and did not provide a monthly budget-to-actual report. Also, the board did not ensure the sale of village-owned property to the village mayor was in the best interest of taxpayers.

Village of Lewiston – Purchasing (Niagara County)
The village board did not regularly review its procurement policy for accuracy or appropriateness. Auditors found 21 of the 36 claims tested did not comply with state law or requirements of the village’s procurement policy.  This includes one contract for $21,687 that was not competitively bid and 20 claims totaling $56,098 for which officials did not obtain alternative price quotes.

Village/Town of Mount Kisco – Parking Ticket Collections (Westchester County)
The village/town’s parking ticket collection rate exceeded 90 percent during fiscal years 2008 to 2012. Despite the high collection rate, the village/town still had $1.2 million in cumulative unpaid parking tickets outstanding as of May 31, 2012. This included 12,792 unpaid parking tickets totaling approximately $720,703 that have been outstanding for more than five years and 7,187 unpaid parking tickets totaling $450,260 outstanding for less than five years.

Town of Northampton – Financial Management and Internal Controls Over Town Clerk Receipts (Fulton County)
The town board did not adopt detailed policies and procedures for its budget preparation process and the routine monitoring of the budget during the year. As a result, the board adopted budgets with inaccurate estimates of revenues and expenditures. Further, the town has not established adequate internal controls to ensure money collected by the town clerk is recorded and deposited in an accurate and timely manner.

Town of North East – Internal Controls Over Information Technology (Dutchess County)
The town board has adopted an information breach notification policy. The policy, however, does not designate the responsible party who is required to implement the steps outlined in the policy and most town officials and employees were unaware the policy existed. Auditors also found that the town board has not established a formal disaster recovery plan.