NORTH COLLINS - The village of North Collins has been cited by the state for improper record keeping and auditing.
The village was audited by the Office of the New York State Comptroller for its cash disbursement and auditing procedures.
"We found the board improperly appointed one trustee to audit village claims. The clerk-treasurer stated that the claims are brought to the board meetings for all of the trustees to review; however, there is no evidence that the other trustees actually review and approve each claim," the audit stated.
The audit found the amount listed as being approved in the minutes did not correspond to the warrants, a listing of claims approved for payment by the board. One example the Comptroller's office used was warrant 2011-8 which was approved at the March 1, 2011 board meeting. The amount approved was $74,021 but there was no warrant for the amount.
The village is also supposed to include a schedule of wages and salaries in fiscal budgets. The budgets for 2010-11 and 2011-12 did not have any of these salaries. The audit also found general fund salary appropriations totaling $4,946 and $621 in the water fund salary appropriation which were over-expended. The clerk-treasurer, in the audit, is quoted saying these payments were for perfect attendance that was not budgeted and coverage for an injured employee.
The audit also found the board should have controls over reviewing monthly reports such as bank statements, reconciliations and other documents. The comptroller's office took three months and found the bank reconciliations were not reviewed by village officials. The audit also cited the village for not keeping monthly budget status reports. The clerk-treasurer stated the financial software used by the village does not allow monthly reports and the clerk-treasurer does provide a report to the mayor but the report is not retained. The board failed to contract with an outside auditor to audit the 2010-11 reports as required by law.
The comptroller's office recommended the board audit all claims presented for payments and ensure those payments are on the warrant; include a schedule of compensation for all village employees and officials in the yearly budget and ensure the clerk-treasurer pay the compensation rates approved; the clerk-treasurer should provide monthly budget status reports to the board and the board should review these reports; the board should review bank reconciliations regularly; and the board should perform an annual audit.
Mayor Vincent George sent the following response back to the state comptroller.
"After review of your tentative findings and recommendations contained in the draft report, please be advised that we do not disagree with your report."
The village has 90 days to respond to the comptroller's office with a written corrective action plan which addresses the issues and recommendations in the report.
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