Information for Fire Districts
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Office of the Auditor General & Division of Municipal Finance July 30, 2014 Presentations to Local Fire Districts
Summary of Fire District Reporting Requirements
Annual Financial Reporting
Monitoring of Financial Operations
Adopted Budget Reporting
Certification of Tax Roll
OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL & DIVISION OF MUNICIPAL FINANCE
SUMMARY OF FIRE DISTRICT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
Tier I includes fire districts located in Coventry, fire districts with annual operating expenditures for all funds (exclusive of capital outlay) equal to or greater than $1,500,000 and fire districts with a charter, by-law, or other external requirement to have an audit. Fire districts which routinely have had an annual audit are encouraged to continue with annual audits.
Tier II fire districts are not located in Coventry, do not have a local or external requirement for an audit, and annual operating expenditures for all funds (exclusive of capital outlay) is either (1) between $500,000 and $1,500,000 or (2) less than $500,000 but with outstanding debt greater than three times the annual operating expenditures.
Tier III fire districts are not located in Coventry, do not have a local or external requirement for an audit, and have annual operating expenditures for all funds (exclusive of capital outlay) of less than $500,000, and have outstanding debt less than 3X times the annual operating expenditures.
The below table provides a snapshot of the reporting requirements for Fire Districts by Tier. Please see below for a detailed explanation by reporting topic and the applicable legal requirements per Rhode Island General Law.
Summary Due Date Schedules
The below schedules provide a snapshot of the reporting due dates, except for the annual financial reporting due dates which are provided in the Decision Tree below.
ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORTING
Rhode Island General Law Section 44-5.2-2 requires:
The Office of the Auditor General has developed the below Decision Tree to assist Fire Districts in implementing the annual financial reporting requirements pursuant to the recently enacted legislation, House Bill 7944Aaa and Senate Bill 2778aa. The Decision tree should be used to determine the Fire District’s applicable Tier for annual financial reporting.
Tier I fire districts must have an annual audit of the district’s financial statements.
The Auditor General has issued Guidelines for Audit Bids and Specifications for Tier I fire districts in order to provide for consistency in the bidding and approval process and encourages use of the template (Form FD-8) for the fire district’s bid specifications for audit services. Fire district officials should also consult their legal counsel to ensure compliance with state and local laws regarding procurement of services and the issuance of bid specifications.
Tier I fire districts are required to submit to the Auditor General a copy of the draft bid specifications prior to the solicitation of bids for audit services and a completed Form FD-5 – “Request for Approval of Fire District Audit Bid Specifications”.
Once the fire district has completed the bid process, it must complete and submit to the Auditor General FORM FD-6 - "Request for Approval of the Fire District Auditor Selection” and a copy of the complete response package from the professional firm for which approval is requested. In addition, the fire district shall submit the evaluation grid analyses (Form FD-7 and each FORM FD-7.1) completed on all the audit firms that responded to the request for proposals (RFP), as well as any other pertinent information considered by the fire district in making its selection.
Please refer to the Guidelines for Audit Bids and Specifications for further details on the approval process for bid specifications and auditor selection.
By approving the fire district’s selection of an audit firm, the Auditor General is not ensuring that the audit firm will (1) meet all contractual terms including the deadline for completion of the audit or (2) comply with professional standards in the conduct of the audit. Approval of a firm to conduct the audit does not limit our authority to review, make further inquiries, and/or reject the audit report.
Tier II fire districts must complete the Annual Self-Reporting Financial Template (Form FD-4) and engage a certified public accountant (CPA) to perform Agreed-Upon Procedures. The Auditor General has issued Guidelines for Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements for Tier II fire districts in order to provide for consistency in the testing of specific reported financial information.
Prior to engaging a CPA to perform the agreed-upon procedures, the fire district is required to submit FORM FD-9 to notify the Auditor General and request approval of the CPA selected to perform the services. The fire district will have the option of engaging a CPA for up to three years. Fire district officials should also consult their legal counsel to ensure compliance with state and local laws regarding procurement of services and the issuance of bid specifications for CPA services.
Please refer to the Guidelines for Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements for further details on the specific agreed-upon procedures requirements and on the process for engaging a CPA.
The Annual Self-Reporting Financial Template (Form FD-4) with the Agreed-Upon Procedures Report shall be submitted to the Office of the Auditor General and the Division of Municipal Finance no later than six months after fiscal year end.
Tier III fire districts must complete the Annual Self-Reporting Financial Template and submit a copy to the Office of the Auditor General and the Division of Municipal Finance no later than 60 days after fiscal year end.
MONITORING OF FINANCIAL OPERATIONS
Rhode Island General Law Section 45-12-22.2 requires that:
ADOPTED BUDGET REPORTING
Rhode Island General Law Section 44-5-69 requires that:
CERTIFICATION OF TAX ROLL
Rhode Island General Law Section 44-5-22 requires that:
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