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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Stanley Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2013M-259)


Released: November 22, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether District controls are adequate to ensure that financial activity is properly recorded and reported and that District moneys are safeguarded for the period January 1, 2012, to August 20, 2013.

Background

The Stanley Fire District, located in Ontario County, is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Seneca. The Board of Fire Commissioners consists of five elected members. The District’s general fund budget totaled $130,230 for the 2013 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • Board members have not provided adequate fiscal oversight to the District, which may be caused by their lack of training as required by law. Board members did not complete their required training in legal, fiduciary, financial, procurement and ethical responsibilities.
  • The Board also has not established written policies and procedures to govern financial operations, such as investments, cash receipts and disbursements, credit cards, claims processing, capital planning, and information technology.
  • The Treasurer did not generate monthly and quarterly reports and the Board did not require that the Treasurer provide them, which severely limited the Board’s ability to manage the District’s financial affairs.
  • The District has no internal controls over credit cards.

Key Recommendations

  • Attend and complete the mandatory fiscal oversight training as soon as practicable.
  • Adopt comprehensive policies and procedures for investments, cash receipts and disbursements, claims processing, capital planning, procurement, and information technology.
  • Require the Treasurer to prepare and present comprehensive monthly financial reports, which include budget-to-actual comparisons, to the Board so it can better monitor District finances.
  • Assess the need for credit cards. If credit cards continue to be used, adopt a comprehensive credit card policy and review and update the policy annually.

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