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

Savannah Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2011M-267)


Released: March 23, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine internal controls over financial operations for the period January 1, 2010, to October 3, 2011.

Background

The Savannah Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Savannah in Wayne County. The Board of Fire Commissioners consists of five elected members who are responsible for the District's overall financial management. The District's general fund budget totaled $85,000 for the 2011 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The Board was unable to provide us with adopted procurement and investment policies, and a code of ethics, as required by the GML. The Board also has not adopted written procedures concerning financial recording and reporting.
  • The Board did not establish policies or procedures to guide the District's management in the establishment, use and record keeping requirements of reserve funds. The District reports a capital reserve fund (reserve), which was established prior to 1989, and had a balance of $59,800 as of December 31, 2010. District officials were unable to provide us with resolutions or other documentation as to the reserve fund's purpose or the exact date this reserve was established. Depending on the date of establishment and purpose of this reserve fund, different rules may apply for public participation in the establishment of and expenditures made from it.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt reserve fund, procurement and investment policies, and a code of ethics, and ensure that formal written financial procedures are established.
  • Research the origin of the existing capital reserve. If it is determined that there is no evidence that the existing capital reserve was established in conformance with statutory requirements, take steps to ratify and legalize the reserve fund by following the procedures for establishing a capital reserve fund in conformance with the General Municipal Law.

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