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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Mohawk Fire District – Board Oversight and Internal Controls Over Cash Disbursements (2012M-86)


Released: September 5, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine selected District financial operations for the period January 1, 2010, through December 1, 2011.

Background

The Mohawk Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Mohawk and Montgomery County in which it is located. An elected five-member Board of Fire Commissioners governs the District. The District’s revenues for the 2011 fiscal year were approximately $135,000, which were funded primarily with real property taxes.

Key Findings

  • The former Treasurer issued three unauthorized checks totaling $1,000 to herself without the Board’s detection. This occurred because the Board failed to establish a sound internal control structure through formal policies and procedures.
  • The Board failed to provide the proper oversight of the Treasurer by reviewing her work and completing the required annual audit of the Treasurer’s records and reports.
  • The Board did not ensure that all claims had appropriate supporting documentation to indicate that they were for valid District purposes.

Key Recommendations

  • Take immediate action to strengthen the District’s internal control environment and develop, adopt, and implement written policies and procedures to control and monitor District operations.
  • Segregate the duties performed by the Treasurer. Ensure that all District bank accounts are reconciled monthly. Perform a proper annual audit of the Treasurer’s records and reports.
  • Ensure that all disbursements are adequately supported by claims and other related documentation.

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