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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Westport Fire District –Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2011M-224)


Released: January 27, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the internal controls over the District's financial operations for the period January 1, 2010 through July 31, 2011.

Background

The Westport Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Westport, in Essex County. The Board of Fire Commissioners (Board) consists of five elected members and is responsible for the District's overall financial management. The District's elected Treasurer acts as the District's chief fiscal officer. The District's general fund budget totaled $185,290 for the 2011 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The Board has not adopted a procurement policy as required by statute.
  • The Treasurer has not filed an annual financial report with the Office of the State Comptroller since at least 1995.
  • The Board did not conduct an annual audit of the Treasurer's records, as required by statute.
  • The Board as a whole did not perform a thorough and deliberate audit of each claim prior to approving claims for payment; instead, one Commissioner performed this function.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt a procurement policy, as required by statute.
  • File the District's annual financial report with the Office of the State Comptroller within 60 days after the close of the fiscal year.
  • Audit the Treasurer's records annually and document the results of this audit in the Board minutes.
  • Conduct a thorough and deliberate audit of each claim prior to approving claims for payment.

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