Audit targets Westbury buying practices

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A state audit has faulted the Village of Westbury on several issues, including controls related to purchasing and information technology systems.

The audit, issued by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office, examined the village's operations from June 1, 2011, to Nov. 30, 2012. In a response, village officials said they would review policies.

The audit found that village officials did not consistently require using purchase orders when approving purchases, and purchase orders were reviewed and approved after invoices were received.

The audit found that claims worth $168,141 were made without using purchase orders. Other claims included confirming purchase orders prepared after goods or services had been purchased or received, the audit found.

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"Allowing Village employees to procure goods and services without prior purchase orders can lead to the over-expenditure of appropriations or the purchase of goods and services that are not authorized," auditors wrote.

The audit also found that village employees did not always receive and document verbal or written quotes before purchasing goods and services, as required by Westbury's procurement policy.

The practice, auditors found, means: "Village officials cannot be assured that employees are procuring goods and services in the most prudent and economical manner."

The audit also noted village officials have not set sufficient internal controls over key parts of its information technology system, "including the safeguarding of computerized financial data against unauthorized access or potential loss, data backup, monitoring of remote-access users and server room security."

Mayor Peter Cavallaro wrote in an email, "We believe the audit confirms that the Village's finances are strong. While we believe that our internal controls adequately assure that village funds are accounted for properly, we appreciate the Comptroller's recommendations to make them even stronger."

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