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April 29, 2008



DiNapoli’s Office Completes School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Carthage Central School District, Island Trees Union Free School District and Western New York Maritime Charter School. DiNapoli’s office also completed a budget review of Chenango Valley Central School District.

“My office’s audits of school districts, charter schools and BOCES help schools improve their financial management practices,” DiNapoli said. “These audits are tools for schools to make sure proper policies and procedures are in place to protect taxpayer dollars and provide students with the best possible education.”

Carthage Central School District – Internal Controls Over Cafeteria Receipts (Jefferson and Lewis counties)
The district had not established adequate internal controls over cafeteria and vending machine cash receipts. As a result, there was an increased risk that cafeteria and vending machine receipts could be misappropriated and go undetected by management.

Island Trees Union Free School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Nassau County)
The district gave virtually all control over its fiscal activities to the assistant superintendent for finance and administration without providing appropriate supervision over his work. The assistant superintendent oversees the business office and serves as the deputy treasurer and purchasing agent. In addition, the district’s claims auditing process is not well designed or functioning properly. Finally, the district’s procurement policy did not require the use of a request for proposals process to procure professional services. As a result, district officials rarely used RFPs to obtain competitive proposals for professional services and continued to use the same professionals year after year without any competition.

Western New York Maritime Charter School Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Erie County)
The board failed to establish adequate controls to ensure that school assets were properly safeguarded. This resulted in numerous improprieties including the employment of an individual with a criminal record, the misappropriation of school funds and the awarding of contracts to employees where it was unclear whether the school received value for the money spent. However, once the board and school officials were notified of the improprieties by their accounting firm, they took corrective action by terminating employees who violated school policies and referred the matter to law enforcement agencies. In addition, the audit found that former school officials and employees exploited weaknesses in the internal control system and manipulated the purchasing system. As a result, the school paid for goods or services totaling more than $95,000 that were either not delivered to the school or were misappropriated after they were delivered. Finally, auditors found that the board did not review the claims paid by the school and had not established an independent claims audit function.

If you have any questions or would like a comment from the Comptroller’s office regarding any of the audits above, please call the Press Office at 518-474-4015.

Click on the links above for copies of the audits and budget reviews.

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