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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Three Town Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2012M-122)


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

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the internal controls over the District's financial operations for the period January 1, 2010, to April 27, 2012.

Background

The District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Towns of Niles and Sempronius and is located in Cayuga 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 $338,439 for the 2011 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The Board needs to improve its oversight of the District's financial activities. The Board has not adopted purchasing and investment policies, or a code of ethics, as required by GML.
  • At the monthly Board meetings, the Treasurer provides the Board with monthly written reports, but does not provide the Board with monthly bank statements and related reconciliations. Therefore, the Board does not review the monthly bank reconciliations for accuracy.
  • The Treasurer has not consistently filed a timely annual financial report with the Office of the State Comptroller, and the Board has not obtained an audit of the District's records by an independent public accountant, as required by Town Law.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt purchasing and investment policies and a code of ethics.
  • Review monthly bank reconciliations that are prepared by the Treasurer.
  • Ensure that the Treasurer files the District's annual financial reports with the Office of the State Comptroller in a timely manner. Hire an independent public accountant to audit the Treasurer's records annually as required by Town 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