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East Meadow library failed to review bills, state audit finds

The audit only found “minor deficiencies” in the $92,600 in claims it investigated, the report stated.

The East Meadow Public LIbrary is seen on

The East Meadow Public LIbrary is seen on March, 12, 2012. Photo Credit: Nicole Bartoline

A state audit of the East Meadow Public Library found that its board of trustees did not review its bills before paying them and did not seek the required number of quotes for more than $27,000 worth of purchases.

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s auditors looked at the library’s finances between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017, according to a report released March 14.

State education law orders library boards to audit their bills, known as claims, before approving any payment to ensure that each one has the proper documentation, the report stated.

Library officials told the auditors that the claims are not reviewed “except in rare cases” where it seems “unreasonable,” according to the report.

The audit only found “minor deficiencies” in the $92,600 in claims it investigated, the report stated.

The auditors also discovered that the board sometimes used verbal quotes for services and other times did not solicit the competitive pricing — both of which are required by the library’s own policies.

The state comptroller’s office recommended that the board conduct a “deliberate and thorough” audit of each claim, as well as follow the board’s policies for purchasing and procurement.

Audrey Fixell, president of the library’s board, wrote in a response letter to the comptroller’s office that the board will conduct the recommended reviews.

“We note that your audit found no instances of improprieties and no misuse of the Library’s or public assets,” she wrote.

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