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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Snyder Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2013M-365)


Released: February 14, 2014 -- [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 through November 20, 2013.

Background

The Snyder Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Amherst, located in Erie County. The Board of Fire Commissioners consists of five elected members. The District’s general fund budget totaled $1.4 million for the 2013 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • We found that the Board generally provides adequate oversight of District financial activities. However, the Board did not annually review and update its adopted procurement policy.
  • Currently, the District’s procurement policy requires officials to obtain three written quotes for purchases costing from $5,000 to $10,000, but does not address the process to be followed for purchases between $10,000 and $20,000. The District annually spends approximately $9,000 for natural gas and $13,000 for electricity. We found that the Board was not soliciting proposals for either of these purchases. We reviewed natural gas and electricity bills from September 2012 through September 2013 and compared the rates the District paid with rates charged by a local energy cooperative. We estimate that the District officials could have saved approximately $4,000 on their electricity bills if they had obtained quotes for these purchases.

Key Recommendations

  • Review and update the procurement policy.
  • Solicit proposals from various natural gas and electricity providers to ensure that they are paying the best possible price for utilities.

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