Audit  Audit of the Department of Fire Services (DFS)

Audit calls on the Department of Fire Services (DFS) to improve its administration of inventory of fixed assets as well as oversight of budgetary earmarks that direct funds to local communities. The audit examined the period of period July 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: May 12, 2020

Executive Summary

In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor has conducted a performance audit of the Department of Fire Services (DFS) for the period July 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018. In this performance audit, we examined DFS’s inventory process, including new purchases valued at $1,000 or greater, disposals, and the annual physical inventory report, as well as earmarked funds allocated under DFS’s annual state budget.

Below is a summary of our findings and recommendations, with links to each page listed.

Finding 1a

DFS did not add new purchases of assets costing more than $1,000 to its master inventory list.

Finding 1b

DFS disposed of assets without prior approval from the Operational Services Division.

Finding 1c

DFS did not verify all assets during physical inventories or complete quarterly inventory reconciliations.


  1. DFS should provide additional training to the division inventory liaisons regarding procedures for identifying newly purchased assets and adding them to the inventory list.
  2. DFS should develop and document a plan of action for the disposal process that will ensure compliance with Section 3.03 of Title 802 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations.
  3. DFS should conduct a complete physical inspection of its inventory lists annually, verify all its assets, and determine the status of any items it cannot locate.
  4. DFS should conduct quarterly inventory reconciliations and identify backup employees to conduct this function in case of future vacancies.

Finding 2

DFS did not collect appropriate documentation to support expenditures for earmarked funds.


DFS should develop policies and procedures for the administration of earmarked funds, including the documentation required to ensure that funds are used for their mandated purposes.


A PDF copy of the audit of the Department of Fire Services (DFS) is available here.





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