State Audit Finds Some Oversight Issues in Cincy Fire District, No Money Missing
An audit of the Cincinnatus Fire District by the State Comptrollers Office finds the Board of Fire Commissioners, which oversee the the department and its finances need to implement new policies to better safeguard taxpayer funds.
The audit finds the the board did not establish adequate controls to ensure that financial transactions are properly recorded and reported and that fire district moneys are safeguarded. Although the board does have a procurement and code of ethics policies, it did not adopt an investment or credit card use policy.
The lack of a credit card policy may have created an issue with on the the departments former chiefs.
The board discovered that the chief made credit card charges that included personal expenditures at various gas stations totaling $795. The audit says the board required the Fire Chief to return the credit card and to reimburse the District.
For the current year the Cincinnatus Fire District collected over $233 thousand dollars in taxes to provide fire coverage.
The District Treasurer which has turned over a couple times recently submits monthly financial reports to the board, including monthly expense reports. The board it reviews the reports and approves the bills at the monthly board meetings.
Auditors say the report does not include a check sequence. Therefore, the board is not assured that it is reviewing and approving all claims prior to payment. District officials informed auditors that the former chairman reviewed monthly bank statements. However, because he was also authorized to sign the checks, so this was not an adequate control to ensure that the checks listed on the bank statement were legitimate district disbursements.
The review also found department audits were not prepared in a timely manner. however the review found no misappropriation of funds and that all expenses appeared to be legitimate.