Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The Common Council recently issued a statement in response to the state comptroller’s audit of city financial operations in the period January 2010 through February 2012.
The statement, prepared last week by freshman 2nd Ward Alderman Anne McCaffrey, says the Council is addressing several financial oversight issues that the audit identified as Council shortcomings.
Among the steps, the Council’s finance committee is planning systematic review of bills due to be paid, before the Council approves their payment, the statement said.
Also, the finance committee is working with the city treasurer’s staff to implement software upgrades that will address financial management and security of information technology.
“These upgrades were planned prior to the audit and will be completed in the next few months,” McCaffrey said.
Also, the Council is reviewing newly drafted purchasing policies and procedures, and is researching “best practices” in the language of the city’s code of ethics, before deciding whether the code needs updating, McCaffrey said.
The comptroller’s audit report was published in late July. While it found no signs of theft or fraud involving city resources, it suggested the lack of routine Council/mayoral review of certain policies, including purchasing policies and the ethics code, create opportunities for the misuse of resources.
“The Council is committed to ensuring that city officials and employees are independent, impartial and accountable to the people and that we perform our duties with the highest standards of ethics,” McCaffrey said. “While the Council was pleased that the auditors found no signs of theft or fraud, more work needs to be done. (We are) committed to ensuring that ongoing improvements are made and will continue to work diligently to maintain the trust that the citizens of Lockport have placed in us.”