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Comptroller: Blasdell did not audit all its claims before paying them

The Village of Blasdell did not consistently audit claims before making payments, according to a State Comptroller’s Office audit released Saturday.

Auditors identified 66 check run dates when payments were made between June 2015 and May 2017. The village board met on only 33 of these dates. Payments made on dates other than when the board met were generally paid without a board audit.

Examples included credit card payments, employee reimbursements and the purchase of picnic tables and grills, according to the state audit.

Village officials told the state that any claims paid before a board audit were reviewed at the next monthly meeting.

"Regardless, board oversight of the purchasing process is diminished when claims are paid before the board has the opportunity for review," according to the audit report.

Also, state auditors reviewed 40 lower-cost claims totaling $204,500 to see if quotes were obtained. Concrete work costing $9,500 and roof repairs for $6,950 were among the 18 claims totaling $82,400 without proof of quotes.

In his Jan. 16 response to the Comptroller's Office, Mayor Michael Petrie said the village board will adopt an updated purchasing policy. He also said trustees are now notified via email that claims have been prepared for review and then only after sign off by a majority of the board will claims be processed for payment.

"As a Board of Trustees we take our fiduciary responsibilities seriously and this audit has assisted us in reviewing and revising our policies and procedures," Petrie wrote in his letter to the state.

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