New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following local government audits were issued.
The board did not properly manage and monitor the revolving loan fund program. As a result, the board cannot ensure the loan proceeds were used to further the corporation’s mission. Revolving loan fund activity was not adequately monitored to ensure loan recipients’ performance goals were achieved. Officials requested follow-up information from loan recipients to verify job creation/retention goals but did not enforce these goals if not achieved. No practices were in place to ensure penalties were accessed when warranted and no formal written policies and procedures were in place for officials to monitor whether loan disbursements were used for their intended purposes. Clear, written guidance was not developed for loan project eligibility, how loan applications should be reviewed or approved, confirming loan funds were used for approved purposes and goals, or how collections should be enforced.
The board did not adopt realistic budgets or monitor and effectively manage fund balance. Revenues were underestimated by a total of $334,095 and appropriations were overestimated by a total of $171,095 from 2017-18 through 2020-21. As a result of the village officials’ budgeting practices, officials collected a four-year total of $505,187 more than necessary in taxes and maintained an excessive level of surplus fund balance in the general fund from 2017-18 through 2020-21, ranging between $364,415 in 2017-18 (100% of the ensuing year’s budget), and $445,858 in 2019-20 (109% of the ensuing year’s budget).
Town officials did not ensure IT systems were adequately secured and protected against unauthorized use, access, and loss. In addition to sensitive IT control weaknesses that were communicated confidentially to town officials, auditors found the town had seven unneeded network user accounts and did not create adequate written IT policies for network user access, online banking, and breach notification. The board did not require IT security awareness training for computer users.
The City of Poughkeepsie Industrial Development Agency (CPIDA) Board did not properly evaluate and approve projects and monitor the performance of businesses that received financial benefits. Specifically, the board did not have a process to adequately oversee and monitor CPIDA projects. As a result, projects were missing applications, cost-benefit analyses, project agreements, and uniform tax exemption policies. The board cannot verify two projects’ self-reported and calculated revenues upon which their payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) are based on. These projects have 99-year PILOT agreements. CPIDA officials did not ensure that projects were assessed late payment penalties totaling $30,664.
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