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Posted on: December 18, 2019

Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman Releases Follow-Up Reviews of Two Separate Audits

Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman Releases Follow-Up Reviews of Two Separate Audits

Reviews showed that a majority of recommendations are in process or have been implemented.

MINEOLA, NY – Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman today released follow-up reviews of two audits performed by his office showing that the majority of recommendations made are in process or have been implemented. The reviews, which followed up on separate audits, involved the Department of Public Works (DPW) out-of-district sewer connection practice and the Nassau County Office of the Public Administrator, are part of a new policy implemented by Schnirman to conduct follow-ups of all audits to ensure audit recommendations are being implemented.

From day one, a key priority for the Comptroller’s Office continues to be our focus on conducting smart audits that achieve results,” said Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman. “That’s why my office set a new policy to always follow-up on audits so that we can ensure our recommendations are being followed and report it directly to taxpayers. This is an integral way to keep track of progress and achieve organizational improvement within our County. I look forward to releasing more follow-up reviews in the weeks and months to come.”

In 2018, the Comptroller’s Office implemented a follow-up review of all audits. Along with providing an update for taxpayers, this new follow-up procedure helps better ensure that the audit’s recommendations are implemented, further increasing efficiency and accountability within Nassau County government.

The two follow-up reviews released today included 19 findings resulting in 72 recommendations, of which 90 percent have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented.

The DPW audit examined out-of-district sewer connection practices between 2013 and 2017, and auditors determined that the County negotiated $2.6 million less in out-of-district sewer hookup fees by arbitrarily switching assessment methods. The audit found that there were no formal policies in place, which allowed DPW to use differing methods to determine the property values used to calculate Equalization Charges. Differing methods were applied inequitably to different developers. Depending upon the method chosen, developers could save thousands and possibly millions of dollars at taxpayers’ expense. Last month, and in response to the audit, the Nassau County Legislature unanimously passed bipartisan legislation based on recommendations from the Comptroller’s Office that standardized the process for calculating out-of-district Equalization Charges.

Major findings of the initial review of the Nassau County Office of the Public Administrator included that the former Public Administrator, who resigned before the final report was completed, was not involved in the daily operations of the Office, reports to the Internal Revenue Service of vendor and professional service payments were potentially understated, and the use of multiple recordkeeping systems created a manually intensive process to oversee estate administration. The audit follow-up found that the current Public Administrator is engaged in the daily operations of the Office and that the Public Administrator’s Office has implemented or is in the process of implementing 95 percent of the recommendations provided by the Comptroller’s audit.

Both reviews are available on the Nassau County Comptroller’s website, located at https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/Audits.

“As Nassau County’s fiscal watchdog, it is my responsibility to bring this critical work to the public and make sure that our audits are not only easy to understand, but that they also ensure accountability and responsibility,” Schnirman concluded. “This process is not about playing “gotcha” with our audits, it’s about real work getting done, focused on outcomes and results for our taxpayers.”

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