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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Fine Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2012M-80)

Released: July 11, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if District controls were adequate to ensure that financial activity is properly recorded and reported and that District moneys are safeguarded for the period January 1, 2011, to January 31, 2012.


The Fine Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Fine, in St. Lawrence 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 $101,800 for the 2011 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The Board has not adopted purchasing and investment policies or a code of ethics, as required by GML.
  • The Secretary-Treasurer does not provide the Board with written reports showing revenues and expenditures received and disbursed or budget vs. actual results.
  • The Secretary-Treasurer did not withhold and remit required payroll taxes from her salary and has not issued information returns (1099s) to individuals earning $600 or more for non-employee services rendered to the District.
  • The Secretary-Treasurer has not filed the correct annual financial report with the Office of the State Comptroller since being appointed by the Board in 2007.
  • The Board has not conducted an annual audit of the Secretary-Treasurer’s records, as required by Town Law, in over five years.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt purchasing and investment policies as well as a code of ethics as required by statute.
  • Require the Secretary-Treasurer to prepare and present written monthly reports to assist in monitoring financial activity.
  • Ensure that the Secretary-Treasurer properly withholds and reports payroll taxes to the IRS and maintains suitable payroll records to document payroll transactions. Ensure that all vendors subject to the issuance of a 1099 informational form are properly identified and reported to the IRS as required, and that any associated payments are documented on a claim that is audited and approved by the Board.
  • Ensure that the Secretary-Treasurer properly prepares and files an annual financial report with the Office of the State Comptroller in a timely manner.
  • Audit the Secretary-Treasurer’s records annually and document the results of the audit in the minutes.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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