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Comptroller releases municipal, school audits

ALBANY - State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office completed several audits of municipal agencies and school agencies.

“In today’s fiscal climate, budget transparency and accountability for our local communities is a top priority,” said DiNapoli. “By auditing municipal finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively.”

 

Municipal:

Town of Bolivar – Community Development Block Grant (Allegany County)
The town board did not develop or implement procedures to track Community Development Block Grant funding. Auditors found that the town did not document how grant funds were spent and failed to ensure the intended objectives and outcomes were accomplished.

Circleville Fire District – Board Oversight (Orange County)
Officials did not establish adequate internal controls or provide sufficient oversight of the district’s financial operations. The treasurer performed online transactions without board oversight and bypassed established internal controls over cash disbursements. In addition, credit card charges were not itemized and receipts were not provided to show that purchases were for valid district expenditures.

Town of Clarendon – Justice Court Operations (Orleans County)
The town justices have established adequate processes and procedures for the court’s financial operations. The court clerk collects cash receipts, records entries in the accounting system and prepares deposits. Also, the justices review the deposits to ensure they are accurate and that all receipts are accounted for prior to depositing the receipts.

Cohoes Housing Authority – Internal Controls Over Payroll (Albany County)
There is inadequate oversight of the authority’s payroll processing and accounting for leave accruals. The office administrator performed all payroll functions with little or no supervision.Also, the timekeeping system used to record employees’ time worked does not accurately capture the hours worked.

Town of Covington – Town Supervisor (Wyoming County)
The supervisor did not properly maintain the town’s accounting records. Auditors found the supervisor did not submit adequate monthly financial reports to the board and the board did not perform an annual audit of the supervisor’s records and reports.

Gardiner Fire District – Length of Service Award Program (Ulster County)
District officials did not implement standards and procedures ensuring that records of activities performed under the defined benefit Length of Service Award Program point system were accurate and complete. Because of these deficiencies, the district may have paid for benefits that were not legitimately earned and participants might not have received the service credit to which they were entitled.


School:

Highland Central School District – Financial Condition (Ulster County)
During the last three completed fiscal years, the district’s revenues fell short by an average of $740,000 in the general fund and $100,000 in the school lunch fund. Auditors also found that the school board has not developed a current multiyear financial plan or capital plan to complement the budget process.

Hudson City School District – Grant Administration (Columbia County)
The district expended more than $79,000 on grant-related expenditures that either were not approved, not properly supported or not expended for legitimate grant purposes. Auditors found grant expenditures reported to the State Education Department lacked sufficient supporting documentation to substantiate employee benefits and salaries.

LaFayette Central School District – Reserves (Onondaga County)
The board did not adopt any written policies governing the establishment and use of its reserve funds. Auditors found four of the five reserve funds in the district were not formally established. Also, the district’s extensive use of reserves along with appropriating fund balance in the annual budgets left the general fund with unassigned fund balance deficits for the past three fiscal years.

Mount Pleasant Cottage Union Free School District – Financial Condition (Westchester County)
The district could improve its billing and collection procedures. As of June 30, 2013, the district had approximately $2.4 million in accounts receivable, of which $1.4 million had been outstanding for 30 days and $893,000 for 90 days or more. If the district has to write off uncollectible accounts receivable, its financial condition will be adversely affected.