State Audit Reports Record Keeping Issues in Amherst

11:43 PM, Oct 4, 2013   |    comments
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AMHERST, NY -- An audit done by the state of New York Comptrollers Office reported that the Town Comptroller of Amherst did not properly account for and report reserve funds resulting in $2 million remaining idle since 2004 that should have been used for debt services.

It's pointed out because certain restricted money was not accounted for -- the town's tax levy may have been higher than necessary.

"Money was set aside for various projects, when the project was over it was still in that account," Councilman Steven Sanders said. "We have been turning that over to the appropriate fund, to offset the taxes from last year, so it's a timing issue."

In response to the audit - the town of Amherst comptroller stated:

The town does not use a debt service fund. However, unspent money from bonds are properly reserved on the audited financial statements. Our auditors have never had an issue with the way this has been handled.

The report goes on to point out that the town has not established an effective fleet management program. With no written policy to determine if the purchase of new vehicles is cost effective.

The audit goes on to state the town does not maintain -- in any consistent manner -- repair, maintenance, usage, or fuel records for its fleet.

In response to the fleet management, the town comptroller stated:

The town reviews each vehicle purchase on a case by case basis. Each department is tasked with the responsibility to maintain their fleet and to communicate their recommendations and needs to the Town Board during the annual budget process. We hope you revise the language in your draft report that we believe to be inaccurate and misleading.

"There is always areas in which the town can approve upon," Deputy Supervisor Guy Marlette said. "I think the audit did exactly what it was supposed to do in areas of fund balances and fleet management."

"It showed areas we need to take a look at --possibly improve the way we do reporting or record keeping," Marlette said. "Since we have the draft audit we've been taking steps as well."

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