Town Of Poland Addresses Audit Findings

KENNEDY – Town of Poland Supervisor Kelly Snow has submitted a written Corrective Action Plan to the New York State Comptroller’s Office to address the finding of the recent audit in the town of Poland. Measures are already being implemented to correct issues the state raised.

Specifically, the Comptroller’s Office had questions about internal controls over vehicle fuel inventory. Town of Poland Highway Department records from Jan. 1, 2012, until Nov. 27, 2013, were examined. The audit was conducted according to generally accepted government auditory standards. The town has two above-ground storage tanks at the Highway Department: one 1,500-gallon tank for diesel and a 500-gallon tank for gasoline.

From January 2012 through October 2013, the town purchased 24,000 gallons of fuel, costing about $80,000. The highway superintendent, highway department employees, the Kennedy Fire Department, and the cemetery caretaker have access to the fuel. Written logs have been maintained for fuel usage. According to the state’s analysis of fuel purchases and usage records, and assuming the fuel tanks were filled to capacity after the first and last deliveries during the audit period, the Comptroller’s Office determined that approximately 7,100 gallons, valued at $23,500, were unaccounted for. No definite explanation for this discrepancy was available.

Snow and Highway Superintendent Larry Mee have brought the matter to the town of Poland Board, and measures to address the concerns in the comptroller’s report were discussed. Enhanced security measures have been put in place to prevent unauthorized use of fuel. In addition, new methods of record keeping have been implemented which should make it easier to balance fuel purchases with usage.

Mee stated that he did not feel there had been any unauthorized use of fuel, but that the records previously used were not adequate. New measures will ensure that fuel usage is recorded contemporaneously, not at a future time. In addition, new methods are being employed to measure the amount of fuel in the storage tanks, since they do not have all the mechanisms that registered pumps and storage tanks have at public fuel facilities. Although the current system had been in place for many years, including during previous audits, it had never been questioned before. Mee agreed that it was a good idea to upgrade both the security measures and the record keeping.

Anyone wishing to obtain a copy of the New York State Comptroller’s report may do so by mail request or online. The address is: Office of the State Comptroller; Public Information Office: 110 State St., 15th Floor; Albany, New York 12236. Their phone number is 518-474-4015. The website is www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/.