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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Richland Fire District – Board Oversight (2016M-374)

Released: January 27, 2017 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine internal controls over District financial operations for the period January 1, 2015 through July 31, 2016.


The Richland Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Richland in Oswego County. There is one fire company located within the District, the Richland Fire Company, whose members comprise the District’s fire department. The District, which is governed by an elected five-member Board of Fire Commissioners, receives on behalf of the Department a tax on the premiums of fire insurance policies written on property by out-of-state insurers. General fund budgeted appropriations for 2016 totaled $72,920.

Key Findings

  • The out-of-state insurance tax, known as foreign fire insurance money, was placed in the District’s general fund checking account and commingled with the District’s other funds.
  • An annual foreign fire insurance report has not been filed with OSC for the last four years.
  • Claims were not reviewed and approved by the entire Board before payment during the months that the Board did not meet.
  • The Board has not adopted a code of ethics.

Key Recommendations

  • Deposit foreign fire insurance money in a separate bank account so it will not be commingled with other District funds.
  • Prepare and file annual foreign fire insurance reports with OSC.
  • Audit and approve all claims before payment to help ensure claims are adequately supported and for appropriate District purposes.
  • Adopt a code of ethics to set forth expected standards of conduct for the guidance of District officers and employees and Department volunteer members.

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