Audit Division

Audit Summary


Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety

State Fire Marshal Division



Results in Brief


            The State Fire Marshal Division lacks an adequate process to ensure businesses storing hazardous materials are identified.  As a result, some businesses have operated for years without the required hazardous material permits.  These permits provide information about the type and quantity of hazardous materials stored at businesses.  Therefore, this information is vital to the safety of emergency personnel when responding to hazardous material incidents.  This condition was noted in our 1994 audit of the State Fire Marshal Division; but, little progress has been made.


The Division’s process for renewing hazardous material permits does not ensure all businesses have a current and valid permit.  Although regulations require businesses to renew permits annually, the Division lacks basic management controls over this process.  Consequently, current information is not available to emergency responders.  Although improvements to the renewal process have been made since our last audit, more needs to be done. 


           The Division has not made implementing the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) a priority.  A 1979 state law required implementation by January 1, 1984.  However, the Division still has not fully implemented NFIRS.  As a result, the State has missed opportunities to use NFIRS information in helping prevent fire incidents and improve public safety.  This issue was raised in a 1994 legislative audit report which recommended the Division implement the NFIRS.


Principal Findings

·            The Division does not identify all businesses that store hazardous materials.  The primary method used by Division inspectors is to select a geographical location and inspect businesses in that area.  Eighteen of 30 businesses we tested had operated for at least 4 years without a valid permit. (page 7)


·            Businesses are required to renew hazardous material permits annually.  However, weaknesses in the permit renewal process have resulted in businesses operating for months without the required permit.  In a recent 5-month period, 15% of the businesses had not renewed their permits by the due date. (page 9)


·            Although required by state law since 1979, the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) is still not fully implemented.  NFIRS is a tool developed by the federal government to help local governments report fire incident information on a state and national level.  By not implementing NFIRS, the Division has missed opportunities to help the state and local governments combat fire-related problems. (page 10)


Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety

State Fire Marshal Division


Agency Response

to Audit Recommendations














Segregate the responsibilities for entering the information creating a vendor payment voucher










Create a report that will identify discounts available and taken










Establish a process to identify those users who consistently fail to include the “FA” code, providing additional training where necessary










Develop policies and procedures for the Division’s use of the extended purchasing component, including approving payment vouchers, ensuring cash discounts are taken, and reviewing purchase orders to ensure fixed assets are properly coded










Request that appropriate staff be provided the ability to authorize the continued processing of a transaction when the error message occurs that indicates the delivery date is before the transaction date










Request a system edit to control the recording of transactions to the wrong fiscal year