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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) – Adult Education Program and Professional Services (2016M-206)


Released: November 10, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The objective of our audit was to review BOCES’ financial records and management practices related to the adult education program and the procurement of professional services for the period July 1, 2014 through March 16, 2016.

Background

The Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Cooperative Educational Services is a public organization created to provide shared educational programs and services to 27 components school districts. BOCES is governed by a 13-member Board of Education elected by the boards of the component districts. BOCES’ 2015-16 fiscal year budget was approximately $78 million.

Key Findings

  • BOCES did not enter into intermunicipal agreements (IMAs) with its component districts for the operation of its adult education programs.
  • BOCES officials could not provide evidence to indicate that the established fees for the adult education services were reasonable or related to the cost of providing these services.
  • The portion of the special aid fund attributable to adult education had a fund balance of more than $2.7 million, which is most likely attributable to activity in prior fiscal years.
  • District officials did not seek competition for eight professional services and insurance totaling approximately $419,000.

Key Recommendations

  • Enter into IMAs with component districts for self-sustaining programs.
  • Document the calculations used to develop tuition rates for adult education programs and periodically evaluate tuition rates for reasonableness.
  • Contact the New York State Education Department for guidance regarding the proper disposition of surplus funds generated from adult education programs and establishing appropriate tuition rates.
  • Monitor the procurement of professional services to ensure compliance with adopted policies and all applicable laws and regulations.

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