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State: East Islip library needs to improve accounting measures

The report shows staff did not always properly collect or deposit cash in a timely manner. Library director says the audit shows ‘no improprieties.’

The East Islip Public Library, seen on June

The East Islip Public Library, seen on June 28, 2011, was recently audited by the state. Photo Credit: Alexi Knock

A state comptroller’s audit recently found that East Islip Public Library officials need to improve cash collection and accounting measures, according to a recent report.

Library staff did not always properly collect or deposit cash in a timely manner and did not issue adequate receipts for all collections, according to a report released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli Tuesday. Staffers also did not properly account for tickets they sold to places such as zoos during the audit period between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2017.

“The Board has not adopted sufficient policies and the Director has not established adequate procedures to address cash collections,” officials wrote in the report. “As a result, the Library has an increased risk that cash collections could be lost, stolen or misappropriated without detection.”

When asked the impetus for the report, comptroller deputy press secretary Brian Butry said it was part of a standard audit.

Library director Guy Edwards said in a letter to the comptroller’s office that the audit “disclosed no material weaknesses, no improprieties and no waste of public resources.”

The library has a budget of about $4 million a year and collected $10.5 million in cash during the audit period, the report said. Comptroller officials reviewed $85,969 in cash collections and found they were deposited and recorded intact other than a minor exception that was not detailed in the report.

Edwards said a receipt log that was not presented during the audit “would have changed some of the findings and recommendations.”

Comptroller’s officials said they reviewed the log after the audit and found it had not been updated since Jan. 30, 2017.

Library officials will produce a corrective action plan “to address outstanding issues,” Edwards said in the letter dated Dec. 15.

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