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Posted on: February 1, 2024

Correction to FY22 Annual Report

It was recently brought to the Town’s attention that there is conflicting financial information in the FY22 Annual Report. After investigation, the Town found this to be a clerical error. During the investigation, additional concerns were addressed to the Selectboard and the Town Manager. The following are responses to those questions as they were presented to the public. 

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The following was posted to Town of Milton's Facebook Page on 1/17/2024:

It was recently brought to the Town’s attention that there is conflicting financial information in the FY22 Annual Report (link below). After investigation, the Town found this to be a clerical error. On page 104, on the “General Fund Comparative Revenue and Expenditure Report”, the numbers shown in the expenditures section of the column labeled “FY22 Actual” are inaccurate. This clerical error only appeared on this page of the Annual Report and did not impact any of the calculations in the official financial reports reviewed by the auditors. 

Accurate FY22 Actual Expenditures can be found on page 65 of the FY22 Annual Report in the auditor’s report, which presents the “Schedule of Revenues, Expenditures and Changes in Fund Balance (Schedule 1)” for the Town. The numbers on page 65 are consistent with the FY22 Actual Expenditures presented in the detailed FY24 Budget Proposal, which was also available for download on the Town’s website for Town Meeting 2023.  

The FY23 Annual Report is currently in progress and will be released in mid-February. The “General Fund Comparative Revenue and Expenditure Report” page will be updated to reflect the correct FY22 Actual Expenditures, and a notation will be included regarding the error from the FY22 Annual Report. 

In the meantime, the Fiscal Year 2025 Proposed Town General Fund Budget can be found on the Town’s website at http://www.miltonvt.gov/Finance.

Each year, the Town’s finances are audited by an independent outside auditing firm. A representative for Sullivan, Powers and Co P.C. will be attending the regularly scheduled Selectboard meeting on February 5, 2024 to present the FY23 annual auditor’s report to the Selectboard. We encourage the public to attend.

The Town always welcomes questions and feedback from the community, especially with regard to financial reports. If you would like more information or if you have further questions, please reach out to the Town Manager Don Turner at 802-893-6655 or dturner@miltonvt.gov.  

FY22 Annual Report: https://miltonvt.gov/Archive.aspx?ADID=77

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The following update was posted to Town of Milton's Facebook Page on 1/24/2024:

A message from Town Manager Don Turner, as a follow-up on the post from last week regarding the error in the FY22 Annual Report [see above]:

First, I would like to express my gratitude that this error was brought to our attention. We have an excellent team that strives to present accurate and helpful information to the public. While we deeply regret that a mistake of this nature occurred, we appreciate that we had the opportunity to investigate it and correct it as swiftly as possible. The integrity of our data is of utmost importance to the Town of Milton, as it reflects on the integrity of the institution itself. 

I would like to further assure residents that the Town has investigated the discrepancy and reviewed internal processes to ensure that it does not happen again to the best of our ability. As previously reported, this discrepancy was a clerical error on a spreadsheet that was separate from our financial operating system. We have corrected the issue, and the numbers are now in alignment with the Schedule 1 in the auditor’s report. Furthermore, we have implemented new controls in the process to prevent similar errors from occurring in the future. Going forward, these types of informational documents will be prepared by the Finance Department and reviewed by the Town Treasurer before the Annual Report goes to print. 

I understand that errors such as this can be a cause of concern for residents. I have spent many years earning your trust, and transparency is a key tenant of that trust. To date, our internal reviews have only identified discrepancies that are clearly clerical errors on budget documents outside of the Town’s financial operating system. While our internal reviews have produced no evidence of potential fraud, as an added assurance, I have requested additional reviews by multiple parties. 

First, I have asked the Town Treasurer, an elected official, to review the Annual Schedule 1 going back to 2016 to verify the accuracy of the information. Secondly, I have hired NEMRC to independently review documents in the Town’s financial operating system for any irregularities. They will report findings to the Selectboard at the meeting on February 5, in conjunction with and prior to the independent auditor’s report. If there are any irregularities or indicators of fraud identified by these independent reviews, I will recommend that the Selectboard hires a consultant to address these items immediately. 

As the chief administrative officer, I believe the Town to be in excellent financial condition. We have strong internal financial controls, commonly known as checks and balances, as well as talented staff that follow our policies and the Administrative Code, as the auditor will report on February 5. 

If anyone has any additional questions, I encourage you to please contact me at 802-891-8021 or at dturner@miltonvt.gov. While I understand that social media is a popular method of communication for many, and it does provide a level of transparency, it is not possible to monitor and engage with every social media conversation thread as they often span multiple platforms and groups. The Town’s Social Media Policy prevents this type of engagement for this reason. If any concerns are brought to me directly, I’m happy to respond in a public meeting or privately, based on the preference of the concerned party. 

Don Turner, Jr.
Milton Town Manager

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The errors in question and other financial concerns were discussed at the Selectboard Regular Meeting on February 5, 2024. View the recording of this meeting below. Key timestamps are as follows:

  • 0:50  FY23 Audit Report Presentation
  • 1:21  Presentation from Town Treasurer and NEMRC Review
  • 2:10  Presentation from Town Treasurer and NEMRC Review (continued)
  • 2:52  Comments from the Selectboard Chair


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