Village of Watkins Glen – Justice Court Operations (2021M-146)

Issued Date
December 29, 2021

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Village of Watkins Glen (Village) Justices collected, recorded, deposited, reported and remitted Justice Court (Court) collections in a timely and accurate manner.

Key Findings

The Justices did not ensure all fines and fees were properly collected, recorded, deposited, reported and remitted in a timely and accurate manner.

  • The Justices did not prepare monthly accountabilities. As a result, recording and reporting errors occurred and went undetected, and Court collections were not deposited intact. The net effect of the reporting errors was a $3,320 overpayment to the Justice Court Fund. In addition, Justice Miller had a shortage totaling $421 that remained through Justice Decker’s term.
  • 1,311 cases were not properly reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • The Court’s computerized accounting system was unsecure and did not require sequentially issued receipts and allowed the clerks to delete or modify transactions without supervisory approval or the creation of an audit log.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that monthly accountabilities of all Court accounting records are completed.
  • Review the recording and reporting errors identified in this report and make necessary corrections.
  • Upgrade the Court’s computerized accounting system software to the most secure version.

Village officials agreed with our recommendations and have initiated or indicated they planned to initiate corrective action.