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April 15, 2009

DiNapoli's Office Completes School Audits and Budget Review

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Oneonta City School District, Southern Westchester BOCES and York Central School District, and budget reviews of East Moriches Union Free School District, Liberty Central School District, Patchogue-Medford Union Free School District and South Country Central School District.

“My office’s audits of school districts 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.”

Oneonta City School District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations and User Access Rights (Otsego and Delaware counties)
Auditors identified significant internal control weaknesses in regard to health insurance benefits and user access rights. The business official did not ensure that health insurance billing and collection duties were properly segregated. The treasurer also did not ensure that amounts billed were accurate and supported by proper documentation or have an adequate process to confirm the eligibility of retirees and spouses. As a result, the treasurer did not change the billing method for certain retirees to reflect recent contract changes, and at least four individuals did not pay their full premium, resulting in uncollected revenues of about $6,100. The district also paid $5,373 in health insurance premiums for a deceased retiree.

Southern Westchester Board of Cooperative Education Services – Internal Controls Over Claims Processing (Westchester County)
Auditors found that the BOCES claims audit function was not operating effectively. Although, the board appointed a claims auditor to act on its behalf to audit and approve claims, the board did not establish policies and procedures for the claims auditor to follow. As a result, the treasurer paid claims prior to the claims auditor performing a proper audit. Because the procedures for auditing claims were not adequate, there was a heightened risk that BOCES officials could make inappropriate payments to vendors or employees.

York Central School District – Control Environment (Livingston and Wyoming counties)
Auditors found the board did not establish internal control policies and procedures or provide oversight in key areas of operations. There were no written policies for some key business operations. Although there were adopted policies for limited business operations, some of the written policies were very old. In addition, district management allowed the district’s unappropriated, unreserved fund balance to exceed the amount permitted by law. District officials also consistently overestimated appropriations over the last four fiscal years. The business manager did not provide the board with necessary interim financial reports. Finally, the board failed to act promptly on observations and recommendations that were included in recent management letters prepared by the district’s independent public accountants and observations and recommendations made by the district’s internal auditor.

DiNapoli's office also completed budget reviews of:

Click on the links to view the audits above.

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



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