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#1396902 - 04/12/13 02:55 PM County flunks NYS audit
newsman38 Offline
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Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 4182
Loc: Fourth Estate
Wayne County – Financial Management (2012M-249)

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the County’s financial condition and management for the period January 1, 2010, to August 31, 2012.

Background

Wayne County is located in Central New York, covers approximately 600 square miles, and has approximately 94,000 residents. The County is governed by a Board of Supervisors which is comprised of 15 members, the Supervisors from each Town within the County. The County’s general fund operating expenditures for the 2011 fiscal year totaled approximately $127 million.
Key Findings

  • County officials developed budgets containing unrealistic estimates, and maintained substantial fund balances that were not substantiated by formal and transparent plans for their use.

    The Board’s adopted budgets for the past five years (2007 to 2011) included overestimated expenditures by approximately $28 million and underestimated revenues by $8.8 million, and generated operating surpluses totaling $21 million.

    The County maintained reserves totaling $10 million as of December 31, 2011, with no plans in place for the use of these balances.


Key Recommendations
  • Develop more accurate expenditure and revenue estimates for the general fund budget. Develop a plan to effectively use and reduce the unexpended surplus fund balance in the general fund.

    Adopt policies and establish procedures to govern budgeting practices, including the determination of a reasonable level of unexpended surplus funds to be maintained, as well as to address the accumulation of and use of moneys in reserve funds.

    Review all reserves annually and determine if the amounts reserved are necessary, reasonable, and in compliance with statutory requirements.


Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:
Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236

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#1397621 - 04/17/13 12:18 PM Re: County flunks NYS audit [Re: newsman38]
newsman38 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 4182
Loc: Fourth Estate
State faults Wayne budget: Audit says supervisors have adopted spending plans with unrealistic estimates

County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jim Hoffman said potential expenditures, including subsidizing the county nursing home and a $4.5 million building efficiencies project, were expected to cut into the surplus.

“Having excess money is a good thing because if we didn’t have a fund balance to pay for large projects, we would have to raise taxes or borrow,” Hoffman explained. “Therefore, this is the cheapest way to go.

“The temptation to build a surplus and spend it has consequences,” Hoffman continued. “In order to reduce the burden in the long term and mid-term, we need to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances. We want to be in the best position possible.”

Paul Peters, president of the local CSEA, was infuriated by the findings in the report.

“They have more money than they know what to do with,” said Peters. “I am tired of the rhetoric about taxpayer relief and unfunded mandates when they are just mis-estimating everything.
“No one is stepping up and taking responsibility. The county stated that they didn’t want to dip into the reserves, but they have more than they had led on. I am really upset and disgusted, and I won’t believe anything the county says for a very long time.”

“Overall, I think it is a good report, but it’s all on how you look at the facts,” Hoffman said. “The 2013 budget also contains prudent use of the fund balance to minimize the tax levy.”

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 10:25 am
By JULIE ANDERSON janderson@fltimes.com

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#1409708 - 07/19/13 10:31 AM Re: County flunks NYS audit [Re: newsman38]
newsman38 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 4182
Loc: Fourth Estate
Wayne supervisors agree to corrective action plan related to state audit

LYONS — The Wayne County Board of Supervisors approved the submission of a corrective action plan related to a state Comptroller’s Office audit at Thursday’s meeting.
The plan, which County Administrator Jim Marquette presented, provides a timeline and commentary in response to six recommendations the April audit cited.

The audit criticized supervisors and county administration for developing unrealistic revenue and expenditure estimates that led to excessively high fund balances, a revelation that angered county taxpayers and laid-off employees.

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013 10:09 am
By JULIE ANDERSON janderson@fltimes.com

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