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

State Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

February 7, 2018

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Columbia County, Orleans County, Rutland Fire District, Village of Walden and Washington County.

"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."

Columbia County – Procurement (2017M-249)

The county has adopted a comprehensive procurement policy that describes the process to be followed when procuring goods and services. Auditors found county officials procured goods and services in accordance with state law and the county's procurement policy.

Orleans County – Sheriff's Department Inmate and Commissary Accounts (2017M-209)

The sheriff's department did not properly account for and manage the inmate and commissary accounts. Department officials incorrectly made disbursements from the inmate account for shared expenditures and made disbursements such as personal inmate telephone charges from the commissary account.

Rutland Fire District – Board Oversight (Jefferson County)

While district financial activity was properly recorded and disbursements were authorized, the board needs to improve its oversight of the treasurer's financial duties. The board also did not ensure that all claims were adequately supported, properly authorized and for valid purposes, and did not annually audit the treasurer's records.

Village of Walden – Financial Condition (Orange County)

The board has not developed a comprehensive fund balance policy, which would establish clear guidelines for fund balance levels, as well as appropriate usage of fund balances. Without reasonable fund balance levels, the village may not have adequate cash flow to meet needs. A heavy or ongoing reliance on debt could indicate the village has cash flow issues that are not being resolved.

Washington County – Procurement (2017M-224)

The superintendent of public works and the sheriff did not always procure goods and services in accordance with state law. Of the 35 purchases and public works contracts reviewed totaling nearly $6 million that the county entered into during the audit period, six purchase and public works contracts totaling $272,115 were not competitively bid as required.

For access to state and local government spending, public authority financial data and information on 140,000 state contracts, visit Open Book New York. The easy-to-use website was created to promote transparency in government and provide taxpayers with better access to financial data.