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Deadline Set For Mount Vernon Budget Audit

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon has until Sept. 30 to complete an audit for the 2011 fiscal year or face possible penalties to its federal funding.

Scott Oling, a partner with O’Connor Davies, which is doing the audit, said it is necessary because the city received more than $500,000 in federal aid each year. Oling said the audit is a federal requirement and must be electronically uploaded to the federal government by the last day of September. No extensions are allowed.

“If we don’t file on time, the government can start to withhold federal aid as an extreme measure,” Oling said.

Oling said the main part of the audit focuses on community development, as that is where most of the federal funds go to. Oling said letters went out to law firms that did work for the city last year, but not all of the firms responded. The ones that responded in April now have to give updated numbers, which Oling said is slowing the auditing process.

“We are only seven weeks away and we can’t just start doing this on Sept. 28,” Oling said. “We have to move things along. The numbers we got in April are stale right now from an auditing perspective.”

Councilman J. Yuhanna Edwards said the audit is “ahead of the game” right now, compared with past years, adding that, while he has been on the council, he has never seen a presentation like this in August. Edwards said this is a positive for the city going into the budget process.

“We had three entities that weren’t on the same page, that weren’t talking to each other in the past,” Edwards said. “Now that we started to talk about this and the budget process we can probably deliver a budget on time. We need to make sure people get what they need. I’ve heard complaints about the lateness of it in the past, so we should get the numbers when the comptroller’s office gets them.”

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