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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Morley Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2011M-228)


Released: January 6, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether District controls are adequate to ensure that financial activity is properly recorded and reported and that District moneys are safeguarded for the period January 1, 2010 to July 31, 2011.

Background

The Morley Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Canton, 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 $13,000 for the 2011 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The Board has not adopted purchasing, investment and code of ethics policies, as required by statute.
  • The Secretary-Treasurer has not filed an annual financial report with the Office of the State Comptroller since 2005.
  • The Secretary-Treasurer provides the Board with a verbal report of the cash balance in the checking account, but she does not provide the Board with periodic written financial reports showing the cash balance or budget vs. actual results.
  • The Board does not perform a proper audit of all claims.
  • The Board did not conduct an annual audit of the Secretary-Treasurer’s records, as required by Town Law.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt purchasing, investment and code of ethics policies, as required by law.
  • Ensure that the Secretary-Treasurer file the District’s annual financial report with the Office of the State Comptroller in a timely manner.
  • Require the Secretary-Treasurer to prepare and present written monthly reports to assist in monitoring the District’s fiscal activity and financial condition.
  • Audit claims prior to payment, ensure that all claims contain appropriate supporting documentation, and properly document its audit of claims.
  • Audit the Secretary-Treasurer’s records annually, as required by Town Law, and document the results of this audit in the Board’s 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