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City responds to state audit report

BY: Rikki Cason | October 26, 2012

The City of Lockport is responding to the key elements of the recent New York State Comptroller’s audit.

Second Ward Alderwoman Anne McCaffrey presented a draft of a letter to the Common Council Wednesday, which will be sent to the Buffalo regional office, that details the city’s next steps in the areas pointed out in the July audit.

Among the items criticized in the audit was how the council reviews bills before approving them. This is an area they have been working to improve since August, when they began a new process.

All members of the Common Council now sit on the finance committee and the finance department emails a spreadsheet report to the council of all claims to be paid. This allows them to receive the vendor name, description and amount twice a month before the council meetings.

“We’ve made a lot of accomplishments over the last couple months,” said McCaffrey.

In September, the council also passed a new procurement policy. This policy covers all goods and services that do not have to go out to a public bid. The policy defines an approval process and improves control over purchasing.

Also in the letter is how the city will update their code of ethics. McCaffrey said she has been researching it because it has not been updated since 1970. She is working to strengthen it, and in the future would like officials and employees to review it annually.

Along with this, the mayor will re-establish a working ethics committee that will meet once a year, and more if needed.

The letter also states the city will work to update some of their polices and procedures for computer use.

The audit found that the Lockport Fire Department was not doing enough inspections. A response to this will be added to the letter before being sent to the comptroller’s office.

In other city news:

• A special meeting was called Wednesday to approve barricading Livingston Place from East Avenue to East Union Street for their annual Halloween party. The event will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday.

During the event the KISS impersonator band will perform.

The Lakeview Animal Sanctuary will also have a petting zoo at the event to help raise funds for their organization.

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