City Comptroller faults BSA’s fee procedures

Problems found with the safeguarding, accounting and transfer of fees to the City. On June 12, 2007, City Comptroller William C. Thompson issued an audit report on BSA’s collection and reporting of revenues, concluding that BSA correctly determined and accounted for fees, but problems existed with the safeguarding of fees, the integrity of receipt systems, and the forwarding of funds to DCAS.

Application fees are the primary source for BSA revenues. In 2006, BSA collected $660,755 from variance applications, $159,032 from appeals and $13,262 in miscellaneous fees.

The audit concluded that BSA charged and collected appropriate fees. However, auditors observed as much as $94,420 in an unlocked desk drawer accessible by more than one BSA employee in violation of the Comptroller’s directive that agencies keep collected revenues in a locked safe. In FY 2006, BSA issued 903 receipts, but only retained 818 corresponding receipts. Several fees did not have any receipts. Auditors found that BSA employees were using several receipt books at the same time and did not issue receipts in order. Although BSA generally forwarded funds monthly to the City, it held three checks for over ten months, missing the fiscal year end.

Among the audit’s six recommendations was that BSA keep funds in a locked safe and complete daily accounting summaries. BSA agreed to all the recommendations except daily accounting summaries, which it stated would be impractical and unnecessary given the volume of funds and its staff resources.

Audit Report on Collection and Reporting of Revenues by the Board of Standards and Appeals, Office of the Comptroller, June 12, 2007.


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