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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Vertus Charter School – Conflict of Interest and Information Technology (2016M-344)


Released: December 23, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The objectives of our audit were to evaluate the School’s financial activities for conflicts of interest and to assess the controls over information technology the period July 1, 2014 through September 1, 2016.

Background

The Vertus Charter School is an educational corporation that operates as a charter school in the City of Rochester in Monroe County. The School, which was granted a five-year charter by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York in December 2013, is overseen by a seven-member Board of Trustees. Budgeted appropriations for the 2016-17 fiscal year total approximately $4.8 million.

Key Findings

  • Certain provisions of the School’s bylaws and code of ethics, which suggest that Board members may have an interest in certain transactions with the School, appear to be inconsistent with the School’s charter and provisions of General Municipal Law (GML).
  • The Board and School officials have not implemented appropriate information technology (IT) policies and procedures for user accounts, acceptable use, breach notification and data backups.
  • The Board has not adopted a disaster recovery plan.

Key Recommendations

  • The Board and School officials should consult with legal counsel to address the apparent inconsistencies between the School's bylaws and Code and provisions of its charter and GML.
  • Adopt comprehensive policies governing the School's IT operations including, but not limited to, user access, acceptable use and breach notification.
  • Develop a formal disaster recovery plan that addresses the range of threats to the School's IT system, distribute the plan to all responsible parties and ensure that the plan is periodically tested and updated as needed.

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