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State comptroller's office says it will again audit Oyster Bay Town

Oyster Bay Town Hall.

Oyster Bay Town Hall. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office is auditing Oyster Bay, according to town financial documents and the comptroller’s office.

The town disclosed in its most recent borrowing prospectus that the comptroller’s office notified officials of the audit on July 30. “The audit will focus on policies and procedures related to internal controls at the town,” the town said in its prospectus.

Tania Lopez, spokeswoman for the comptroller’s office, wrote in an email that they “do not have an audit scope and will not have one until we get on site and do some risk assessment work. Clearly, financial condition will be one area we will include in that risk assessment.”

Lopez said audits generally take six months to a year to complete.

Town spokesman Brian Nevin wrote Wednesday in an email that the town welcomes the comptroller’s review.

The comptroller’s office, which audits municipalities statewide, last published an audit of Oyster Bay in 2013. That audit looked at the town’s finances and budgeting, change-work orders on capital projects, and internal controls over information technology. Though the comptroller’s office at that time criticized the town’s deteriorating finances and town officials agreed to improve budgeting practices, the town’s finances  sank further in 2014 and 2015 before beginning to recover in 2016.

The 2013 audit also criticized the town’s controls over change-work orders on projects undertaken by outside contractors, noting that a review of 10 contracts expected to cost a total of $40.5 million showed they had gone over budget by a total of $9.6 million.

The comptroller’s office is also conducting an audit of the town’s ethics oversight practices from Jan. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2018. That audit is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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