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

Hammondsport Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2011M-226)


Released: February 10, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the internal controls over the District's financial operations for the period January 1, 2010 to August 23, 2011.

Background

The Hammondsport Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Urbana, in Steuben County. The Board of Fire Commissioners (Board) consists of five appointed members who are responsible for the District's overall financial management. The District's general fund budget totaled $252,475 for the 2011 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The Board has not established written policies and procedures to govern financial operations, such as purchasing, investments, cash receipts and disbursements, information technology, and asset disposal.
  • The Board did not present and adopt a budget that was in accordance with Town Law and OSC's prescribed format.
  • The Board has not adequately segregated the Secretary-Treasurer's duties.
  • The Board did not require the computerized financial system to be backed up, which has resulted in a loss of cash receipts and disbursements data, and the late filing of the 2009 and 2010 annual reports.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt policies and procedures for purchasing, investments, cash receipts and disbursements, information technology, and asset disposal, as required by law and good business practices.
  • Ensure the budget is in the format prescribed by Town Law and the Office of the State Comptroller, including the calculation of the District's annual statutory spending limitation.
  • Provide adequate oversight of the Secretary-Treasurer by ensuring that her duties are appropriately segregated, and that she files the District's annual financial report in a timely manner.
  • Ensure that all computerized financial data is backed up.

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