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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

June 3, 2015

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed an audit of the Hamlin Fire Department, Islip Terrace Fire District, Town of Minden and the Village of Owego.

“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.”

Hamlin Fire Department – Controls Over Financial Operations (Monroe County)

The department treasurer makes all deposits, disburses cash without the board’s prior approval and performs all recordkeeping functions without adequate oversight. Although the board reviews most of the department’s bills, they typically do so after the payments have already been made, and their approval is not documented in the minutes. The board did not conduct an annual audit of the treasurer’s records.

Islip Terrace Fire District – Claims Audit and Payroll (Suffolk County)

The entire board did not authorize payment of claims by resolution, but instead allowed claims to be paid before its meetings after approval by any three commissioners. The board needs to improve controls over payroll to ensure that pay rates are properly authorized and time and attendance is properly recorded.

Town of Minden – Budgeting (Montgomery County)

The town improperly allocated portions of its sales tax revenue to the town-wide general fund without first eliminating the tax levies in the part-town funds (those that exclude the village), contrary to statutory requirements. The town consistently adopted budgets with unrealistic estimates of revenues and expenditures in the part-town highway fund.

Village of Owego – Clerk-Treasurer’s Office and Parking Tickets (Tioga County)

The clerk-treasurer’s cash and fund balance records were inaccurate and unreliable. The justices and the board did not ensure that parking tickets were collected, recorded and deposited in an accurate manner, and unpaid tickets remained outstanding for an average of 181 days.