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Comptroller releases municipal, school audits

ALBANY - State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office completed seven municipal and two school audits:


Afton Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Chenango County)
Fire district controls are not adequate to ensure that financial activity is properly recorded and reported, and that district moneys are safeguarded. Auditors found the treasurer does not present the board with budget-to-actual reports for expenditures on a monthly basis. Also, the board is not reviewing monthly bank statements or bank reconciliations.

Town of Babylon – Financial Condition and Internal Controls Over Selected Town Operations (Nassau County)
From 2008 through 2011, the general fund’s unexpended surplus fund balance decreased from a surplus of $6.1 million to a deficit of $10.5 million. In addition, the board has not adopted a comprehensive computer-use policy, a breach notification policy, or a formal disaster recovery plan.

City of Newburgh – Budget Review (Orange County)
The proposed budget includes $2 million of anticipated revenues from the sale of real property. The office of State Comptroller has not been provided documentation to verify the assessed values of the properties or the required approval from the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the readiness of the properties for sale. Further, the city may be overestimating water sales and sewer charges. If the City Council does not decrease appropriations, there may be a revenue shortfall of more than $550,000 in the 2014 fiscal year budget for these funds.

Town of Salina – Information Technology (Onondaga County)
The town board has not established policies and procedures related to personal, private and sensitive information. In addition, the town has not maintained a complete and accurate computer inventory and has not developed a disaster recovery plan.

Stanley Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Ontario County)
Board members have not provided adequate fiscal oversight to the district, which may be due to their lack of training. Auditors found board members did not complete their required training in legal, fiduciary, financial, procurement and ethical responsibilities. Also, the board has not established written policies and procedures to govern financial operations, such as investments, cash receipts and disbursements, credit cards, claims processing, capital planning and information technology.

Summit Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Schoharie County)
The fire district does not have adequate financial policies and procedures. Although the district board generally provided adequate oversight over cash disbursed from the general fund, it did not provide the same oversight over cash disbursed from the district’s building reserve account. In addition, the board has not adopted purchasing, investment or code of ethics policies, as required.

Westford Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Otsego County)
The district board has not established adequate financial policies and procedures. For example, the district treasurer performs all duties with no board oversight. The board does not conduct an annual audit of the treasurer’s records nor do they contract with an independent auditor to perform such an audit.

School audits:

Middleburgh Central School District – Financial Condition (Schoharie County)
Budgeting decisions over the last several years have made the district susceptible to fiscal stress. The district is relying on surplus funds to finance operations and is close to depleting those funds. Additionally, district officials did not update the district’s long-term financial plan to address how they will fund the budgets without the continued use of fund balance.

Tapestry Charter School – Internal Controls Over Credit and Debit Cards (Erie County)
While the school’s credit card policy adequately addresses many control procedures, certain additional controls should be considered. For example, the policy does not limit the number of credit cards to be issued, address to whom the cards may be issued or define how many credit card accounts may be established.