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Auditor General DePasquale Release Audits for Berwyn and Kimberton Firefighters’ Relief Associations

Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief Associations

HARRISBURG, PA — Auditor General Eugene DePasquale recently announced the release of audit reports for the Kimberton Firefighters’ Relief Association and the Berwyn Fire Company Firefighters’ Relief Association in Chester County.

The Department of the Auditor General examines volunteer firefighters’ relief associations, which receive state aid from a 2 percent state tax on fire insurance premiums purchased by Pennsylvania residents from out-of-state casualty insurance companies.

In 2017, 2,521 municipalities received $60.6 million in fire relief association funding for distribution to local volunteer firefighters’ relief associations to provide training, purchase equipment and insurance, and pay for death benefits for volunteer firefighters.

The full audit reports for VFRAs with findings are available online using the links provided below, others are available online at PaAuditor.gov/audit-reports.

Kimberton Firefighters’ Relief Association

The Auditor General was unable to obtain independent confirmations of a portion of cash balances directly from financial institutions. While the Kimberton Firefighters’ Relief Association did provide bank statements indicating a cash balance of $198,474, auditors were unable to verify a portion of the balance.

Nevertheless, with the exception of the above stated, the Kimberton Firefighters’ Relief Association did comply, in all significant respects, with applicable state laws, contracts, bylaws, and administrative procedures as they relate to the receipt of state aid and the expenditure of relief association funds, for the period of January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017., with the exception of two findings:

Finding 1: Untimely Deposit of State Aid – The Kimberton Firefighters’ Relief Association did not deposit the 2017 state aid allocation from Charlestown Township, in the amount of $20,402, until January 11, 2018. The cause is attributed to officials not establishing internal control procedures which require all income received be recorded and deposited in a timely manner.

Finding 2: Failure to Comply with Terms of Loan – On March 10, 2014, the Kimberton Firefighters’ Relief Association made a loan to the affiliated fire company in the amount of $195,629. However, the relief association did not receive timely payments in 2017 for the monthly loan payment. Officials failed to ensure loan payments were collected in accord with the repayment schedule.

Berwyn Fire Company Firefighters’ Relief Association

The Auditor General was unable to obtain independent confirmations for a portion of cash balances directly from financial institutions. While the Berwyn Fire Company Firefighters’ Relief Association did provide bank statements indicating a cash balance of $413,076, auditors were unable to verify a portion of the balance.

Yet, with the exception of the above stated, the Kimberton Firefighters’ Relief Association did comply, in all significant respects, with applicable state laws, contracts, bylaws, and administrative procedures, for the period of January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017, as they relate to the receipt of state aid and the expenditure of relief association funds.

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