Comptroller Urges Oversight

The Sagaponack Village Board does not have adequate assurance that goods and services are purchased at the best price, according to the findings of an audit released by the New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s office on Tuesday.

The board does not review each claim to determine if they are properly itemized and include appropriate supporting documentation, the audit found. Also, competitive quotes were not sought for some purchases.

“The board did not perform an effective claims audit or establish an adequate process to ensure that transactions were properly authorized and approved, complied with statutory or village requirements or that claims were proper village purposes,” a statement from Mr. DiNapoli’s office said.

The audit covered the period between June 1, 2015, and Feb. 28, 2017. During the audit period, the village paid 558 claims, totaling $722,827. The comptroller reviewed 25 claims, equaling $82,166.88, along with related warrants and board minutes. They mostly appeared to be for proper village purposes with supporting documentation. Four claims, totaling $4,430, which fell below the competitive bidding thresholds, were made without seeking competitive quotations.

“As a result, there is an increased risk that goods and services were not procured in the most prudent and economical manner,” the report said.

The comptroller said the board should conduct a thorough claims audit to ensure that each claim has sufficient supporting documentation and that purchases are made in accordance with village policy. The office also recommended that village employees solicit and document quotes, as per the village’s procurement policy, to ensure goods and services are obtained at competitive prices.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mayor Don Louchheim said, “The audit found procedural omissions on a handful of minor transactions and a missing step in our review process for payment vouchers. Corrective measures have been implemented by the village board.”

The village board was asked to initiate a corrective action plan, which it filed with the comptroller on Sept. 5.