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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Wallkill Fire District – Inappropriate Payments and Purchase (2015M-39)


Released: January 8, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine internal controls over cash disbursements for the period January 1, 2009 through February 28, 2014.

Background

The Wallkill Fire District is located in the Town of Shawangunk in Ulster County. The District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town, and is governed by an elected five-member Board of Fire Commissioners. The District’s budget for 2014 fiscal year was $532,474.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not establish adequate internal controls over the cash disbursements process, resulting in $239,622 being inappropriately paid to the Chair’s wife; the District’s credit card was used to make $14,910 in questionable purchases, including gas, cigarettes, groceries and other personal items.
  • The Board did not perform a proper audit of claims prior to payment or ensure that adequate supporting documentation was attached.

Key Recommendations

  • Review the questionable disbursements identified in this report and seek reimbursement as appropriate; implement a cash disbursement policy that prohibits distribution or signing of blank checks.
  • Properly audit all claims before authorizing payment. The audit should ensure that each claim has detailed supporting information.

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