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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Essex No. 1 Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2012M-07)


Released: March 23, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine internal controls over financial operations for the period January 1, 2010, to November 30, 2011.

Background

The Essex No. 1 Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Essex, in Essex County. The Board of Fire Commissioners (Board) consists of five elected members and is responsible for the District's overall financial management. The District's general fund budget is $86,330 for the 2012 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The Board has adopted a code of ethics, but has not adopted a procurement or investment policy as required by statute.
  • The Treasurer submits a monthly Treasurer's report to the Board that includes the current month and year-to-date receipts and disbursements and a budget comparison to the actual revenues and expenditures by individual budget line item. However, the report is not accompanied by bank statements or bank reconciliations.
  • The Treasurer has not filed an annual financial report with the Office of the State Comptroller since the fiscal year ending December 31, 2006.
  • The Board did not conduct an annual audit of the Treasurer's records, as required by statute.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt a procurement and investment policy, as required by statute.
  • Ensure that the Treasurer files the District's annual financial report with the Office of the State Comptroller within 60 days after the close of the fiscal year.
  • Require the Treasurer to perform monthly bank reconciliations and include those, along with copies of the bank statements, with the monthly Treasurer's report.
  • Audit the Treasurer's records annually and document the results of this audit in the Board minutes.

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