Monday, May 17, 2010

City of Kingston Overbilled $64k

May 17, 2010...The City of Kingston's SAFETY NET 2009 is currently being re-examined by auditors in my office and we are confirming that 91 of the over 4200 charges were inaccurate. While the percentage is small in comparison, the errors translate into an over $64,000 refund due to the City and being re-billed to several neighboring communities.

This process entailed nearly six weeks of information gathering and are intention is to now focus on 2008 charges.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Ulster County DSS makes some improvements in its financial accountability, says Auerbach

KINGSTON – The Ulster County Department of Social Services has made some improvements in its accounting practice since County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach first looked into them earlier.

Missing funds reported to the County Sheriff’s Office before the comptroller’s office kicked in under the new charter, resulted in a comptroller’s audit of the Social Services Medicaid spend-down program in August 2009. Concerns regarding cash management and internal controls were found.

The follow up audit shows some improvement, Auerbach said.

“They have made some inroads, however, there still are some blind spots that we are not totally comfortable with and it truly has to do with internal controls,” he said.

Noting that county comptrollers are prohibited in New York State from auditing Medicaid providers, Auerbach said until that is lifted, he will use his resources “to audit what I can where I can.”

(Copyright © 2010 Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ulster County has $18M fund balance, down from $24M |

Ulster County has $18M fund balance, down from $24M |

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Annual Ulster County financial report shows 2009 with balanced budget

KINGSTON – Ulster County used $5.7 million from its unreserved-unappropriated general fund balance to balance the 2009 county budget of $259 million.

The county remained within the five percent to 10 percent recommended percentage that the unreserved-unappropriated fund balance should be as part of the total general fund budget. The county’s balance was 6.5 percent.

County Executive Michael Hein said there is a positive message when analyzing the budget.

“In the face of a $7 million reduction in sales tax revenue, by making significant internal budgetary cuts and additional revenues, we created a situation where the taxpayer did not suffer and ultimately we are in better position going forward,” he said.

Hein said, though, that Ulster must still move forward with his 10 point Taxpayer First Initiative to begin closing the projected budget gap for fiscal year 2011.

(Copyright © 2009 Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc.)