West Albany Fire District – Credit Card Purchases (2017M-15)

Issued Date
March 31, 2017

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether credit card purchases were approved in advance and related claims included adequate supporting documentation for payment for the period January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016.


The West Albany Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Colonie in Albany County. The District is governed by an elected five-member Board of Commissioners. Budgeted appropriations for 2017 totaled approximately $616,600.

Key Findings

  • Twenty-two purchases (58 percent) totaling $22,224 were not approved in advance by either Board approval or purchase order.
  • Although the Board discussed purchases, it did not have written procedures or guidelines to identify individuals authorized to approve credit card purchases or the documentation required before making the purchases.
  • Claims totaling $38,478 did not have adequate supporting documentation.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that credit card users obtain prior approval for purchases to be made with the District’s credit cards.
  • Establish a clear and consistent process for staff to follow when obtaining prior approval for credit card purchases, which includes identifying required supporting documentation and designated officials who are authorized to provide approvals.
  • Ensure that supporting documentation for credit card purchases is intact prior to approving related claims for payment.