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State audit: Rockville Centre Housing Authority didn’t follow bylaws

A review of the Rockville Centre Housing Authority by the state comptroller’s office found that the agency did not comply with its own bylaws in auditing claims and does not have procedures in place for cash receipts.

The state’s audit examined the housing authority’s processes for Oct. 1, 2015 to Oct. 31, 2016, according to a report from Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office released on June 30.

While housing authorities should audit all of their claims before paying them or appoint an independent auditor, the Rockville Centre agency did not audit its claims in compliance with its own bylaws, the report stated.

The Rockville Centre bylaws require all checks to be countersigned by the board’s chair or director, however, its director both signed checks and reviewed claims, according to the audit.

“Performing the duties of approving purchases, signing checks and auditing claims are incompatible,” according to the report.

The state auditors also found several discrepancies during the audit period, including $24,371 in claims that did not have purchase orders. The report noted that while the claims were for legitimate purposes, a lack of an independent review means “there is an increased risk that improper purchases and payments could be made without detection.”

The authority’s board also does not have policies and written procedures for its cash receipt process, auditors found.

In a response letter to the state, Rockville Centre Housing Authority executive director Jamie Morrison wrote that the agency will work to fix the cash receipt process policies. Morrison also wrote that internal controls have been in place for auditing claims and expenses.

When reached by phone on Wednesday, Morrison declined to comment further.

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