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Office of the State Comptroller - Local Government & School Accountability
Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Caneadea Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2012M-102)


Released: August 3, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the internal controls over the District's financial operations for the period January 1, 2011, to May 22, 2012.

Background

The Caneadea Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Caneadea, in Allegany County. The Board of Fire Commissioners consists of five elected members and is responsible for the District's overall financial management. The District's general fund budget totaled $109,000 for the 2012 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not perform an annual audit of the Treasurer's records and that the Treasurer did not prepare and file annual financial reports with OSC since 2006.
  • Although the Board minutes indicated that the Board had authorized bills for payment, there was no indication in the minutes as to which claims were audited and approved for payment by the Treasurer or the total amounts approved. There also was no indication on the individual claims that they had been audited and approved by the Board for payment by the Treasurer. These claims totaled over $111,000 during the 2011 fiscal year.
  • Sixty of the disbursements totaling over $7,500 were made by direct withdrawal from the District's bank account by utility vendors.

Key Recommendations

  • Conduct an audit of the Treasurer's records on an annual basis. Ensure that the Treasurer prepares and files annual financial reports with OSC within 60 days after the close of the fiscal year.
  • Audit and approve claims for payment prior to disbursement by the Treasurer and include the claim numbers and the total dollar amounts of the approved claims in the Board minutes.
  • Require the Treasurer to pay utility vendors by check and not allow utility vendors to electronically withdrawal funds from the District's bank account in payment for services.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236