Comptroller suggests changes for Bureau of Weights and Measures
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.”