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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Yaphank Fire District – Claims Processing (2013M-51)


Released: May 31, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the claims auditing process for the period January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012.

Background

The Yaphank Fire District is located in the Town of Brookhaven in Suffolk County and serves 14.1 square miles in the areas of Yaphank, Shirley and Medford. The District is governed by an elected five-member Board of Fire Commissioners (Board), with one member appointed as Chairman. The District's general fund expenditures were $1,477,872 and $1,593,997 for the years ended December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2012, respectively.

Key Findings

  • Each Commissioner is assigned to separate committees, which include areas such as equipment, radios and trucks. When an invoice is received, it is provided to the Commissioner assigned to that area. It is that Commissioner’s responsibility to review the claim and determine if it is a proper District expenditure. Because of this procedure, the entire Board does not audit all claims. At monthly meetings, the Board simply receives a warrant of claims for approval.
  • The Board passed a resolution which allows the Treasurer to pay specific bills prior to audit. However, instead of including only those specific exceptions allowed by Town Law, the resolution also allows credit card bills to be paid in advance of the Board’s audit.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that all claims, other than those exceptions allowed by Town Law, are audited and approved by the Board before the Treasurer pays the claims.
  • Establish a proper resolution that allows the Treasurer to pay claims for allowable exceptions under Town Law prior to an audit by the Board.

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