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August 3, 2010

DiNapoli’s Office Completes Audit of
West Islip Fire District

The West Islip Fire District did not seek competitive bids when awarding service contracts, and did not establish policies and procedures to adequately segregate the treasurer’s duties, according to an audit released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“My office’s audits of local governments improve their financial management practices,” DiNapoli said. “These audits are tools for local officials to make sure proper policies and procedures are in place to protect taxpayer dollars. With additional oversight and the establishment of internal controls, the West Islip Fire District has the ability to reduce the likelihood of fraud and abuse, and ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used efficiently and for their intended purpose.” The audit covered the period June 1, 2008 to May 31, 2009.

DiNapoli’s auditors found that the board did not carry out its responsibility of overseeing or establishing appropriate compensating controls over district financial operations. Further, auditors noted that the board failed to establish an internal control system to provide for adequate segregation of duties or management oversight for payroll processing and accounting for leave time accruals.

DiNapoli’s audit notes that the board’s purchasing policy does not require the district to solicit competition before awarding professional service contracts. In addition, the board did not adopt formal policies relating to the costs associated with the district’s annual installation dinner. In 2008 and 2009, individuals who were not members of the West Islip Fire Department or their spouses attended the dinners, resulting in additional costs to the district of approximately $17,900 in 2008 and $22,100 in 2009.

Lastly, the district’s internal controls over computerized data also need to be improved.

District officials generally agreed with the findings and recommendations, and indicated they would take corrective action.

If you have any questions, or would like a comment from the Comptroller’s press office regarding this audit, please call the press office at 518-474-4015, or send an email to

Click here for a copy of the audit.


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