New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Albany County Probation Department, Town of Java and the Virgil Fire District.
“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.”
County officials have not ensured that the department account clerks’ financial duties were adequately segregated. The clerks’ ability to control all cash receipts and disbursement functions increases the risk that funds could be misappropriated without detection. Also, although the department has established policies for disbursing restitution money retained in a victims’ trust fund, officials have not disbursed these funds in a timely manner.
Town officials do not have written procedures for reconciling the water produced by the town’s water system with the water billed to the town’s customers. For the audit period, the town could not account for 53 percent of the water produced. Auditors estimate that the town lost $23,327 in revenue if the unaccounted-for water was due to malfunctioning meters. If the unaccounted-for water is due to leaks rather than malfunctioning meters, the town is incurring excess costs for producing water.
The district board does not provide adequate oversight of district financial activities. Officials did not ensure there were proper controls over cash disbursements or ensure the treasurer was performing her duties properly. In addition, the treasurer has not filed the annual update document with the Comptroller’s office for the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
For access to state and local government spending and nearly 50,000 state contracts, visit http://www.openbooknewyork.com/. The easy-to-use website was created by Comptroller DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.