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NYS Comptroller to Fire Districts: Bond Credit Card Users

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© Peter J. Weishaar and Rochester Law Review, 2013 – 2015.

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Some of you know that I represent a number of fire districts in and around Monroe County.  I have found that one of the best resources for fire district commissioners is the New York State Comptroller’s website.   The website has a lot of useful information, as noted in a prior post.  From time to time, I peruse the latest audit reports available on the website, looking for issues that other districts have faced, so I can advise my clients about these developments and assist the commissioners in carrying out their duties.

When reviewing the latest batch of audits from the New York State Comptroller’s Office, I saw only one audit of a fire district.  Although there were no major criticisms noted, I did take note of a recommendation from the auditors that I wanted to pass along to you.

In this latest fire district audit, the auditors found:

  • The Board-adopted credit card policy authorizes issuing credit cards to certain District officials. The policy states that each credit card purchase is limited to $2,500 and must be documented by submitting a receipt which specifies the purchase date, amount, location, reason, item description, and the purchaser’s name. However, this policy does not require bonding insurance for all individuals who are issued District credit cards. We found that the only individual bonded was the Treasurer.

Therefore, the auditors recommended that the board of fire commissioners amend the district’s credit card policy to require the provision of bonding insurance for any board member, official or employee responsible for using credit cards.  Although I have not seen a specific statutory requirement mandating bonding insurance here, I do think this is a good recommendation if you are going to permit district personnel to use credit cards issued to the district.  If you are a fire district commissioner and would like discuss this issue further, or if you would like to know more about the services provided by our firm, please visit the municipal page of our firm website.  You may also contact me directly by clicking the “contact” tab above.


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