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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Carthage-Wilna Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2013M-191)

Released: August 16, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if District controls were adequate to ensure that financial activity is properly recorded and reported and that District moneys are safeguarded for the period January 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013.


The Carthage-Wilna Fire District, located in Jefferson County, is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Wilna. The Board of Fire Commissioners comprises five elected members and is responsible for the District’s overall financial management. The Board appoints a Secretary-Treasurer who serves as the District’s chief fiscal officer. The District’s general-fund budget totaled $563,000 for the 2012 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The Board generally provides adequate oversight of District financial activities. It has adopted purchasing and investment policies and a code of ethics, as required by statute, and has ensured that procedures for financial recording and reporting were developed. Monthly financial reports are provided to the Board, the annual financial report is filed with OSC in a timely manner, and the Secretary-Treasurer’s records are audited annually. Lastly, the Board audits all District claims.
  • Although the Board passed a resolution to pay claims that are allowed to be paid prior to audit, it also passed a separate resolution to pay other bills prior to audit that are not allowed by Town Law. For example, the Board approved the payment of claims prior to audit for certain vendors that supply trash pickup, health insurance, office supplies, auto parts, payroll accounting services, and fire-related services.

Key Recommendation

  • Ensure that all claims, other than those exceptions allowed by Town Law, are audited and approved by the Board before the Secretary-Treasurer pays the claims.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236