NYS Comptroller’s Audit Gives Good Grades to Stony Point Claims Purchasing and Processing

BY CHERYL SLAVIN

A recent report issued by the New York State Comptroller’s Office reveals that Stony Point town officials “have implemented effective internal controls over claims processing and purchasing to adequately safeguard town assets.”

The audit was conducted over the period of January 1, 2013 through April 21, 2014 as a part of the regular oversight exercised by the comptroller to ensure that “local government officials manage government resources efficiently and effectively and, by so doing, provide accountability for tax dollars spent to support government operations.”

The audit noted that Stony Point’s claims processing policies and procedures are adequate. The only irregularity found was that the claims, while properly documented and numbered consecutively within each month, were not always numbered consecutively from month to month, in contravention of town law. This irregularity resulted in 111 instances of duplicative claim numbers. After examining each of these claims, however, the Comptroller’s Office determined that this was solely as a result of bookkeeping errors by the payroll clerk, and that every expenditure was “for proper Town purposes.”

Thereafter, the comptroller recommended that “the town clerk should ensure that all claims are consecutively numbered during the town’s fiscal year (and) the Board should thoroughly review all abstracts prior to approval to ensure that all claims approved are valid and for proper town purposes.” In a letter signed by Supervisor Geoff Finn the Board informed the Comptroller’s office that the Town would follow both recommendations. Indeed, in recent meetings the Board’s agenda items have included voting on and changing claims numbers when they appear to be duplicative or out of order.

With regard to purchasing, the audit found that the Board has been in compliance with all relevant statutory mandates by publically advertising bids for purchase contracts worth over $20,000 and public works contracts over $35,000, as well as securing several price quotes for any contract expenditure under those amounts.