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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Jefferson Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2013M-101)


Released: July 12, 2013 -- [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, 2012, to March 18, 2013.

Background

The District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Jefferson and located in Schoharie 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 approximately $234,000 for the 2012 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The District does not have adequate financial policies and procedures. While the Board has adopted purchasing and code of ethics policies, it has not adopted an investment policy, as required by statute.
  • The Board also has not ensured that procedures are in place for financial recording and reporting. We found that the Treasurer did not submit monthly financial reports to the Board, but has filed the required annual financial report as of fiscal year 2011 with the OSC.
  • The Board does authorize each claim for payment and indicates its approval by affixing each member’s signature on the warrant. However, the Board minutes do not consistently indicate the approval to pay these claims, which would provide a record to support the disbursements made.
  • The Treasurer was not maintaining accurate cash balances for the District’s checking and savings accounts.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt an investment policy.
  • Ensure that formal written procedures are in place for financial recording and reporting.
  • Ensure that all District disbursements are properly supported.
  • Reconcile the District’s accounting records to the bank statements monthly and follow up on any differences.

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