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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Redwood Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2011M-225)

Released: January 13, 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.


The Redwood Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Alexandria, in Jefferson 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 $123,752 for the 2011 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The Board needs to improve its oversight of the District's financial activities. Although the Board has adopted investment and procurement policies, it does not periodically review and update these policies. Additionally, the Board has not adopted a code of ethics as required by law.
  • The Secretary-Treasurer has not filed an annual financial report with the Office of the State Comptroller since 2001.
  • Each month, the Secretary-Treasurer provides the Board with a check detail report and budget vs. actual report for revenues and expenditures, but does not report cash balances to the Board.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt a code of ethics policy as required by statute. Review the District's investment and procurement policies at least on an annual basis and update them as necessary.
  • Ensure that the Secretary-Treasurer files the District's annual financial reports with the Office of the State Comptroller in a timely manner.
  • Maintain adequate accounting records, including cash balances for all of the District's bank accounts. Reconcile these accounts on a monthly basis and present them to the Board for review.

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