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August 5, 2008


DiNapoli's Office Completes School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Croton-Harmon Union Free School District, Lyncourt Union Free School District, New Lebanon Central School District and Valley Stream Central High 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.”

Croton-Harmon Union Free School DistrictInternal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities and Information Technology (Westchester County)
Because the board did not properly manage the district’s budgeting process, the district’s unreserved fund balance exceeded the limit of 3 percent of the next year’s budgeted appropriations. The district’s 2006-07 unreserved fund balance was $2.8 million – more than twice the legal limit. The audit also identified weaknesses in procurement and IT administration.

Lyncourt Union Free School DistrictInternal Controls Over Purchasing (Onondaga County)
Although the district established internal controls for their purchasing practices to protect against fraud, abuse and professional misconduct, auditors found that these controls did not always operate effectively and the policy was inadequate. District staff did not always comply with competitive bidding requirements and the district’s procurement policy provided little guidance on what seeking competition for procurements that fall below the dollar thresholds for competitive bidding.

New Lebanon Central School DistrictInternal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Columbia and Rensselaer Counties)
The audit found weaknesses in internal controls over cash receipts and disbursements. For example, the auditors’ review disclosed that district officials did not deposit receipts in a timely manner, did not maintain or reconcile a complete cash receipts log and did not issue press-numbered receipts. Auditors also found district officials’ interpretation of the former director of transportation’s contract resulted in a potential overpayment of $11,134 to the former director of transportation for unused vacation leave. Lastly, the audit noted weaknesses in internal controls over the district’s process for classifying workers whom the district enrolls in the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System.

Valley Stream Central High School District Internal Controls Over Financial Condition and Procurement (Nassau County)
The superintendent and assistant superintendent for business did not prepare, and the board did not approve, realistic budgets. Auditors found that revenues were consistently underestimated, appropriations were consistently overestimated and fund balances were consistently in excess of the statutory retention limits. The district also needs to improve controls over purchasing. Although the board established an adequate procurement policy, which provided guidelines for an effective procurement process, the policy was not always followed. Finally, district officials did not file the appropriate documentation with the State Education Department to obtain reimbursement for expense totaling $11,137 that were incurred during the 1999-2000 fiscal year for special educational services for students with disabilities.

Click here to view the audits and budget reviews above.

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




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