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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

West Irondequoit Central School District – Financial Management and Separation Payments (2016M-180)


Released: August 19, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The objectives of our audit were to review the District’s financial management and examine the District’s calculation and supporting documentation of separation payments for the period July 1, 2012 through April 12, 2016.

Background

The West Irondequoit Central School District is located in the Town of Irondequoit, Monroe County. The District, which operates 10 schools with approximately 3,600 students, is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education. The District’s reported expenditures for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $68.4 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not adopt realistic budgets and overestimated expenditures, which generated approximately $2.1 million in operating surpluses.
  • District officials have historically funded reserves by transferring unrestricted fund balance, which resulted in the unrestricted fund balance staying within the statutory limit. Three of 5 reserve funds were overfunded and potentially unnecessary.
  • District officials have not developed written policies or procedures to formalize the separation payments process.
  • District officials do not maintain adequate supporting documentation for each separation payment.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt budgets that reflect the District’s actual needs and include realistic estimates based on historical trends or other identified analysis and use surplus funds as a financing source for funding one-time expenditures, funding needed reserves and reducing District property taxes.
  • Review all reserve balances and determine if the amounts reserved are necessary, reasonable and in compliance with statutory requirements. To the extent they are not, transfers should be made in compliance with statutory requirements.
  • Develop written policies and/or procedures to govern the separation payments process.
  • Ensure that all separation payments have adequate supporting documentation with evidence of appropriate review.

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