Than for Police Patrols; Lax Financial Controls Cited
- The district has no formal written policies for accounting or operations, except one governing procurement.
- In defiance of its own procurement policy, the district does not competitively bid goods and services. For the two years audited (2003 and 2004), Comptroller’s staff found more than $400,000 in goods and services that were purchased with no evidence that competitive quotes were obtained.
- In addition to employing three staff attorneys, including the Town Attorney for Hempstead, the district uses the services of five law firms – all without benefit of written contracts or retainer agreements.
- The district pays a lobbyist $12,000 per year. There is no documentation supporting the need for this expense, nor are there time records or evidence of work performed.
- The district has no procedures governing the awarding of overtime and keeps no records of overtime worked. In one example of the lax procedures, the district’s General Supervisor was paid $6,043 in overtime in 2004. Half of the overtime was apparently paid to him for attending Board meetings. The district could not justify the other half because it does not keep employee time records.
- The district provides health benefits to certain favored part-time lawyers, commissioners and others, while denying such benefits to other part-time employees.
The report is the last of five audits of independent sanitary districts to be released by the Comptroller. On September 8, Comptroller Weitzman released audits of Town of Hempstead Sanitary District #1 (Five Towns area), and garbage collection districts in Syosset and Port Washington. While Port Washington's service was found to be efficiently operated, significant overspending and lapses of management control were found in the other two. An audit of Town of Hempstead Sanitary District #2 (Baldwin area), issued on September 21, found millions of dollars wasted every year on administrative expenses, including unnecessary and overpriced insurance sold to the district by a no-bid broker and personal use of 11 district cars and trucks.
“The waste uncovered at these sanitary districts occurred because, prior to these audits, there has been a complete lack of public oversight of these operations,” Comptroller Weitzman said. “And district commissioners and supervisors ran their operations as if they never expected there to be any.”
The full audit report of Sanitary District 6 can be read or downloaded by clicking on the link below.
(pdf file - Adobe Reader® required )
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Editor's Note: And the Supervisor of the Town of Hempstead continues to maintain that the Town has "no control" over the Town's Sanitary Districts and/or their (mis)management and operations, this notwithstanding the fact that the General Counsel for Sanitary District 6 also happens to be Hempstead's Town Attorney. We tip the Town Attorney's many hats to Town Supervisor Kate Murray. Oh how we love a charade!