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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 & School Audits

July 28, 2023

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following local government audits were issued.

Town of Lake Luzerne – Procurement (Warren County)

The board did not enforce the provisions of the town’s procurement policy, and as a result, town officials did not seek competition when procuring goods and services totaling $561,829, or 48%, of the purchases reviewed. Because officials did not always comply with competitive bidding statutes and the town’s procurement policy, the board cannot ensure officials are procuring goods and services in the most prudent and economical manner.

Town of Lake Luzerne – Payroll (Warren County)

The supervisor did not ensure payroll payments were accurate or in accordance with town policies. Town officials did not properly review and certify payroll and 15 of 54 payroll registers reviewed were not certified. Officials also accepted incomplete time records for processing payroll and none of the 67 timecards reviewed contained all punches for time in/out. Additionally, inaccurately calculated overtime payments to hourly employees resulted in overpayments of $8,052 out of $47,192 overtime payments reviewed. Officials also did not always pay wages at board-approved rates, resulting in a $13,650 annual increase to the town’s payroll that the board did not approve.

City of Amsterdam – Recreation Department (Montgomery County)

The recreation director maintained limited and inadequate collection records and staff did not issue receipts for collections or maintain inventory records for the beverage events. As a result, there is a substantial risk that not all collections were remitted. For example: the total projected fees for the six-week summer camp program were $12,014; however, only $5,213 was collected; $4,303 was deposited from sales during the eight-hour Oktoberfest but officials did not maintain any support for the number of beverages sold; for the $895 in cash that was remitted for the four-hour Craft Beer Fest the day of the event, officials could not support the number of tickets sold for the event; and auditors found $286 was remitted for the 10-hour Italiafest and wine tasting with no record of how many people attended the event.

Town of Johnsburg – North Creek Water District Charges (Warren County)

Town officials did not effectively manage the North Creek Water District's billing of water charges. This resulted in the town not billing for $8,461 (6%) of the water revenues it was entitled to. Officials did not ensure services provided by a contractor were billed to the customers or identify and bill all new water customers and ensure all water rates were board-adopted and accurately charged to customers.

Tuckahoe Union Free School District – Overtime (Westchester County)

District officials did not monitor overtime or ensure it was accurate. As a result, overtime payments increased the amount owed by a district, annually to the state, for its share of the cost of future employee retirement benefits. District officials did not adopt written policies and procedures for overtime and overpaid 15 employees a total of $4,432 for overtime due to lack of adequate review of time records and paid 15 employees overtime totaling $324,934 primarily for routine anticipated events.

Hannibal Fire Company – Misappropriation of Funds (Oswego County)

The board did not establish basic internal controls over cash disbursements. As a result, the former treasurer was able to misappropriate over $850,000 in company funds during an eight-and-a-half-year period. These improper disbursements went unnoticed for years because the board did not review bills paid by the former treasurer, receive written financial reports or review bank and investment statements and canceled check images. The board also did not obtain an annual independent audit of company records, as required.

Jericho Union Free School District – Acceptable Use Policy (Nassau County)

District officials did not help safeguard personal, private and sensitive information (PPSI) by developing and communicating a comprehensive acceptable use policy to business office staff. As a result, PPSI related to district employees and finances could be exposed. In addition to sensitive information technology weaknesses that were communicated confidentially to officials, auditors found that all nine business office employees, including the assistant superintendent for business affairs, were not aware that they were expected to follow the Computer Network and Internet Student Acceptable Use policy or what the district considers to be appropriate and inappropriate Internet use. District officials did not periodically review web histories to determine whether any employee’s web browsing was inappropriate.

Heuvelton Central School District – Procurement (St. Lawrence County)

District officials did not always comply with statutory requirements and the district’s procurement policy by seeking competition for the purchases of goods and services. As a result, they are unable to assure taxpayers that the district is procuring goods and services in the most prudent and economical manner. Officials could not support they used competition, as required, to make purchases totaling $189,497and did not seek competition when procuring professional services and insurance coverage from 10 vendors totaling $310,212. They also did not have written agreements with four of these vendors.