New York town promises to enforce more oversight for finances

After an accounts payable audit revealed evidence of duplicate payments and a severe lack of financial oversight for the village of Revena, New York, town officials are now saying that more measures will be put in place to ensure that bookkeeping and accounting procedures are carried out more effectively.

In a letter to New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Ravena Mayor John Bruno stated that due to the poor results from the audit, the village will be putting policies in place to avoid any similar situations in the future.

"Effective immediately, the village board is taking an active role in reviewing all claims/vouchers for accuracy to eliminate deficiencies and duplicate payments," Bruno said.

The Times Union reports that after the audit findings were released in June, the Comptroller's Office recommended that Ravena develop a plan within 90 days outlining strategies to prevent future instances of misappropriation. In his letter, Bruno stated that changes have already been implemented within the village's departments, including the new requirement that budgetary transfers be approved by the board on a semiannual basis, writes the website. Additionally, a new procurement policy has been put in place and the town's annual reports will be finished in a timely manner, Bruno stated.

There were several instances of financial discrepancies in the audit report, and the new procedures are to prevent any errors that could ultimately have a negative impact on Ravena and its departments. The Comptroller's Office stated that the village failed to properly oversee and monitor purchases, with $17,590 paid out either not following Ravena's procurement policy or having a severe lack of financial documentation. There were also many instances of funds being paid that did not have requisition forms or not having the required signatures from board members.

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