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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

February 21, 2024

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

Village of Mexico – Financial Management (Oswego County)

The board did not adopt realistic budgets or manage fund balance. As a result, more taxes were levied than needed to fund operations. For the four fiscal years reviewed (2019-20 through 2022-23), the board did not establish a fund balance policy and maintained an excessive level of unassigned surplus fund balance in the general fund with balances ranging between $839,530 and $1.1 million, or between 109% and 124% of the ensuing year’s budget. The board did not consider historical or known trends of revenues and expenditures when developing the budgets, so revenues were underestimated by a total of $439,767 and expenditures were overestimated by a total of $287,238 for the audit period. The board also appropriated fund balance of $216,780 that was not needed to fund operations which contributed to the accumulation of surplus fund balance. Additionally, the property tax levy for 2023-24 was $509,000 while the village had over $1.1 million in surplus funds available at the end of 2022-23 to use toward supplementing next year’s budget.

Dolgeville Central School District – Fuel Monitoring (Fulton County)

District officials did not adequately account for or monitor fuel usage. As a result, 690 gallons of diesel fuel valued at $2,064 were not properly accounted for during the 50-day test period. Officials did not maintain perpetual inventory records or take a periodic physical inventory of diesel fuel on hand. Consequently, no fuel reconciliations were performed.

West Genesee Central School District – Capital Assets (Onondaga County)

District officials did not always properly monitor and account for the capital assets tested and did not conduct periodic physical inventories to help ensure the records were accurate and complete and the assets were on hand. The last physical inventory was completed in 2017 and officials only updated the district’s asset records on an annual basis thereafter. As a result, officials may be unable to identify lost or stolen items. Of the 337 assets totaling approximately $2.3 million selected for review, 54 were in use but not properly recorded in the inventory records and 38 of these assets, valued at over $176,000, were also not tagged as district property. Another 27 assets could not be located, including 18 with a total cost of $50,905 and nine with no documented cost. Additionally, 45 assets had an incorrect location recorded.

Village of Madison – Collections (Madison County)

The clerk-treasurer accurately recorded collections. However, the collections were not always recorded and deposited in a timely manner, and the board did not establish adequate controls for collections. The clerk-treasurer did not make timely deposits for 247 collections totaling $120,743 and did not record 27 water fund collections totaling $4,120 in a timely manner. Officials did not receive any reports from a third-party vendor showing ambulance billings, collections, write-offs and unpaid balances. Officials also did not perform reconciliations of water and ambulance receivable accounts and the board did not approve adjustments and write-offs. Lastly, the board did not audit the clerk-treasurer's records and reports.

Village of Deposit – Claims Auditing (Broome County)

Of the 93 credit card purchases during the audit period, the board did not ensure compliance with the village’s credit card policy and approved 83 purchases totaling $20,659 without the required supporting documents. As a result, the board approved the use of taxpayer funds without having support to show funds were being expended for legitimate village purposes and increased the risk for fraud, waste or abuse.

Village of Islandia – Overtime (Suffolk County)

During the audit period, the village paid eight employees a total of $149,964 in overtime that was not properly approved or supported by the employees’ timecards. Auditors found 95% of the village’s overtime was paid to the fire marshal and building inspector and was equivalent to 73% and 49% of their budgeted salaries, respectively. The fire marshal approved his own overtime that totaled $88,718 and did not provide any documentation he claimed to have in support of his overtime pay. The building inspector approved his own overtime that totaled $53,719 for the audit period. Village officials and the inspector had no documentation to support the hours that resulted in overtime, or the actual work performed. Six other employees were paid $7,528 without preapproval or documentation explaining why the overtime was necessary.