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Greenport Village audit prompts changes

Greenport Village has changed the way it handles money at its popular ice rink and campground because of problems found during a 17-month audit of the village's financial practices.

The State Comptroller's office, which did the June 2008 to November 2009 audit, noted the facilities lacked a secure area to put the cash collected overnight, and that the cash was not deposited daily. And, it added, the figures on the cash register tapes did not match the deposits, with less money on some days and too much on others.

In a separate check of village finances in 2010, the Comptroller's office found nine days between Jan. 3 and Jan. 24 -- the time of highest use of the ice rink -- where the cash register tapes totaled $17,646 while the deposits totaled $16,660. The other 13 days were error-free.

Mayor David Nyce said Tuesday that he had the village administrator make an independent audit of ice rink finances, which found that, though the bookkeeping was sloppy, no money was lost. The village has since changed the way it handles money at the facilities, including making nightly cash deposits instead of holding on to the money for up to five days before it was deposited.

The village has stopped its practice of letting the ice rink director take a bag of uncounted money home instead of counting the cash in the presence of the rink's cashier. Now, the village's treasurer counts the receipts each day.

The audit, released last month, also found a number of other minor problems in village financial practices, which village officials said had either been corrected or were being corrected.

These included paying some bills before they were approved by the village board, failing to seek requests for proposals before approving service contracts, and failing to protect its computer system and databases, such as promptly removing access privileges and user IDs from workers after they leave village employment.

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