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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Cattaraugus-Allegany-Erie-Wyoming Board of Cooperative Educational Services – Financial Management (2016M-77)


Released: August 18, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review BOCES’ financial management practices for the period July 1, 2012 through December 30, 2015.

Background

The Cattaraugus-Allegany-Erie-Wyoming Board of Cooperative Educational Services is a governmental entity covering 22 component school districts in a four-county area. BOCES is governed by a nine-member Board of Education elected by the boards of the component districts. General fund budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $65 million.

Key Findings

  • From fiscal years 2012-13 through 2014-15, the Board and BOCES officials consistently overestimated appropriations by an average of $4.4 million per year.
  • BOCES increased its reserves without adequate disclosure to the public and the districts and overfunded three reserves.
  • BOCES has restricted more than $15 million in funds that should have been returned to the component and participating districts.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop reasonable budget appropriation estimates.
  • Develop a comprehensive written policy or plan for establishing, funding and using reserve funds.
  • Ensure that all surplus funds, except those properly restricted in reserves in accordance with applicable statutes, are distributed back to the districts.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236