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ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL

Audit of Comptroller Finds Auerbach’s Office Complies With County Requirements

                

Kingston, NY (August 11, 2015) – A report commissioned by the Legislature of the County Comptroller’s Office has concluded that the Office is in compliance with County procedures.

 

Comptroller Elliott Auerbach expressed his satisfaction with the report’s conclusions, noting that “my office embraced the inquiry and welcomes the report, as an opportunity to have our own work checked by another set of eyes.”

 

The initial report delivered by O’Connor contained numerous factual errors made by the firm, which were pointed out in a response memorandum from Auerbach’s Office to the Legislature. O’Connor was then asked to provide further detail as to the Comptroller’s use of outside professional and legal services, as well as the Comptroller’s compliance with time and attendance procedures of the County. The firm found no issues with any of the Comptroller’s practices.

 

“Despite the errors and some disappointing editorializing,” said Deputy Comptroller Joe Eriole, “the end result is that O’Connor Davies finds ‘nothing wrong’ with our time and attendance practices, and explains in detail the propriety of the Office’s engagement of outside accounting and legal services. That’s good for Ulster County.”

 

The report was commissioned by the Legislature to be done by O’Connor Davies, an audit firm already engaged by the Legislature as its budget analyst. In a widely publicized exchange in 2013, the Legislature sought to award the contract to serve as the County’s annual audit firm to O’Connor Davies, as well, but County Executive Mike Hein nixed that engagement, saying it was a conflict of interest to have the firm serve both as a legislative budget analyst and as independent auditor. Auerbach’s Office, while unconvinced that a conflict existed, cited the possible appearance of impropriety as cause to have O’Connor Davies, in the interest of transparency, choose one or the other engagement. Ultimately, another firm was chosen as outside auditor and O’Connor retained the budget consulting role.

 

The two part O’Connor Davies report, as well as the Comptroller’s response memorandum to the initial report, entitled "Review of Comptroller Procedures", can be found in the report section at the Comptroller's website,http://ulstercountyny.gov/comptroller/o%E2%80%99connor-davies-independent-accountant-report-july-2015.

                                    

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