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Long IslandSuffolk

Poquott audit calls for tighter controls

Poquott Village officials lacked policies to control credit card and cash disbursement spending, according to an audit by the state comptroller's office.

The village board "has not provided sufficient oversight of cash disbursements made by check or with the use of village credit cards," read the audit, which was released on Thursday.

Checks issued by the village treasury sometimes were signed with a signature stamp, which "is not considered an appropriate check-signing device as authorized by village law," the audit said.

Some checks were signed by trustees, and two payroll checks of $185 and $427 were unsigned.

A $14,938 check to a brokerage firm was also unsigned.

The lack of a formal policy on checks means "there is a significant risk that payments could be made in error or for unauthorized costs," according to the audit.

The village was also criticized for its vague credit card policy, which doesn't require enough documentation, the audit found.

The comptroller's office highlighted $2,500 in credit card charges that did not have itemized receipts.

The audit also noted there was a $36 late payment fee incurred during the audit period of June 2010 to November 2011 and urged the village to practice better financial governance.

Mayor Barbara Donovan responded by letter to the audit and said the village would adopt its recommendations, including eliminating the use of the signature stamp.

She clarified that the $14,938 unsigned check was for the village's insurance policy and said other unaccounted credit card expenditures were legitimate expenses from attending conferences.

"The facts clearly reflect that Village funds were not used for inappropriate purposes, the expenditures in question were authorized by the Board of Trustees, and the Board of Trustees have correctly not required any reimbursement by any Village Official," she wrote.