Comp­trol­ler sug­gests changes for Bureau of Weights and Mea­sures

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Pa­tri­cia Doxsey pdoxsey@free­manon­ pat­ti­at­free­man on Twit­ter

Ul­ster County Comp­trol­ler El­liott Auer­bach has rec­om­mended the county Bureau of Weights and Mea­sures en­sure the proper seg­re­ga­tion of du­ties within the two-per­son depart­ment and es­tab­lish writ­ten poli­cies and pro­ce­dures that pro­vide for the pe­ri­odic rec­on­cil­i­a­tion of billing and col­lec­tion ac­tiv­i­ties for cus­tomer ac­counts.

The rec­om­men­da­tions stem from an au­dit of the bureau con­ducted be­tween Jan. 1 and Dec., 31, 2015, to de­ter­mine whether it has “ad­e­quate con­trols in place to en­sure com­pli­ance with state and lo­cal ways and mea­sures laws.”

The au­dit looked at a col­lec­tion process used by the bureau, the com­plaint process, and the pe­tro­leum qual­ity pro­gram.

A report is­sued by the comp­trol­ler found no prob­lems in the col­lec­tion process or pe­tro­leum qual­ity pro­gram but found doc­u­men­ta­tion lack­ing in the han­dling of con­sumer com­plaints.

Auer­bach rec­om­mended the bureau “es­tab­lish a process to en­sure all com­plaints are promptly in­ves­ti­gated and full records — from the fil­ing of the com­plaint to its fi­nal res­o­lu­tion — be main­tained.”

He also called for the county to im­ple­ment a fee sched­ule for “short weight fines,” say­ing the lack of a set fee sched­ule cre­ates a “gray area” that gives the di­rec­tor dis­cre­tion in set­tings fees for each busi­ness, and he said the county should es­tab­lish a mech­a­nism by which the bureau would be no­ti­fied of new busi­nesses that have scales to be in­spected.

Bor­row­ing lan­guage from a state comp­trol­ler’s report on the Al­bany County Bureau of Weights and Mea­sures, Auer­bach rec­om­mended the bureau es­tab­lish writ­ten poli­cies and pro­ce­dures to en­sure the proper seg­re­ga­tion of du­ties deal­ing with billing, re­ceiv­ing and mak­ing de­posits.

In a writ­ten re­sponse to the au­dit, James DeGasperis, the di­rec­tor of the bureau, said the bureau’s use of the county Depart­ment of Fi­nance pro­vides for seg­re­ga­tion of du­ties nec­es­sary within the depart­ment, not­ing it is that depart­ment that “reviews, ap­proves and posts all bills en­tered by my of­fice into the fi­nan­cial system, and they also re­view dif­fer­ences, if any, be­tween what is billed and re­ceived.”


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