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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.


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:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236