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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Killawog Fire District – Controls Over Financial Operations (2013M-111)


Released: June 28, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether the District established adequate controls to ensure that financial activity was properly recorded and reported and to safeguard District moneys.

Background

The District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Lisle and located in Broome 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 general fund budget totaled approximately $88,000 for the 2013 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The Board has retained excessive levels of fund balance. Fund balance as of December 31, 2012 totaled approximately $229,000 which represents 260 percent of next year’s budgeted appropriations. District officials told us that approximately $189,000 of this fund balance was for a reserve fund established approximately 17 years ago. District officials were unable to provide us with formal documentation of the establishment of this reserve fund. Furthermore, even if this money was reserved, the current unrestricted, unappropriated fund balance is still excessive at 44 percent of next year’s budgeted appropriations.
  • The Board does not conduct an annual audit of the Treasurer’s records or contract with an independent auditor to perform such an audit.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop a plan to reduce the amount of fund balance in a manner that benefits District taxpayers.
  • Audit the Treasurer’s records annually or contract with an independent auditing firm to do so.

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