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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Jericho Fire District – Professional Services (2012M-236)


Released: February 1, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the District’s internal controls over the procurement of professional services for the period January 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012.

Background

The Jericho Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Oyster Bay and the County of Nassau in which it is located. The District services approximately 13,600 residents. An elected five-member Board of Fire Commissioners governs the District. The District’s total expenditures for the 2011 fiscal year were approximately $3.5 million.

Key Findings

  • The District’s procurement policy does not require the use of competitive methods when procuring professional services. We reviewed all five professional services providers who received at least $20,000 in payments during our audit period. District officials did not solicit competition for the services provided by any of the five professionals, who were paid a total of $343,289. The payments comprised $143,989 to an insurance agency, $79,134 for physical training services, $54,181 for legal services, $39,500 for accounting services, and $26,485 for engineering consulting services.
  • Although the District entered into written agreements with the physical trainer and the engineering consultant, there are no Board resolutions approving these contracts. Further, the payments to the physical trainer were not in accordance with the written agreement. While the written agreement, dated May 2007, states that the trainer is to be paid $40 per hour, during our audit period he was paid $50 per hour for his services.

Key Recommendations

  • Consider amending the District’s procurement policy to include the use of competitive methods when procuring professional services.
  • Ensure that District officials enter into written agreements with all professional service providers. Document approval of these contracts, along with any contractual changes, such as changes in pay rates, in the Board’s minutes.

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