New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Village of Allegany, Baldwin Public Library, Town of Charleston, Comsewogue Public Library, Endwell Fire District, Lily Dale Volunteer Fire Company, Town of Oneonta Fire District and the Warsaw Fire Department.
“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.”
Village officials did not seek competition when purchasing vehicle fuel as required. The village board authorized the payment of more than $2,300 in gasoline purchases using fuel credit cards without receipts to document these transactions or identify the purchaser. In addition, village officials did not maintain diesel fuel inventory records.
Auditors found the library’s business manager ensured that individuals on the payrolls were bona fide employees and, as such, were paid at their approved salaries and wages, and they received only the benefits to which they were entitled.
Internal controls over payroll processing were not properly designed or operating effectively. Six highway department employees received a total of 134.25 hours of leave accrual benefits they were not entitled. Four of the six highway department employees did not receive a total of 37.50 hours of compensatory time valued they were entitled to for the same period.
The library board does not audit and approve all claims prior to payment, and has not provided library staff with guidance on procurement methods for professional service providers. Also, the purchasing policy does not provide adequate guidance for procurements which do not require competitive bidding.
The board did not ensure that all disbursements were for proper purposes. Auditors found discrepancies with $24,808 in disbursements, of which, $5,883 was disbursed for items that were not appropriate district expenditures, such as clambake tickets, volunteer incentive gifts, meals and travel expenses.
The executive committee generally does not provide adequate oversight of company financial activities because the treasurer does not provide adequate monthly or annual reports. The treasurer was unable to provide monthly reports for 10 of the 18 months in the audit period.
The board did not establish adequate controls to safeguard district moneys and ensure that financial activity was properly recorded. Specifically, the board did not adopt an investment policy or a code of ethics; issue a W-2 form for the treasurer’s wages; perform a thorough audit of claims before payments were made; or obtain an audit of the district’s records by an independent public accountant.
The board does not provide adequate oversight of company financial activities because the treasurer does not provide the board with monthly or annual reports. Also, the board did not elect two members to audit the treasurer’s records as required and did not approve payments prior to checks being issued.