DiNapoli's Office Completes School Audits
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Glens Falls City School District, Herricks Union Free School District and Orange-Ulster Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
“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.”
Glens Falls City School District – Internal Controls Over Claims Processing (Warren County)
The board did not appoint a claims auditor but instead retained the authority to audit and approve claims for payment. However, district officials stated the board reviewed only certain claims, on an exception basis, while reviewing the warrants. The board relied on the “accounts payable review clerk” to select a sample of claims from each warrant for a “spot check” review. Although auditors’ testing of claims did not disclose any inappropriate expenses, the review of warrants and reliance on a “spot check” review of claims increases the risk that the board could approve payments that do not represent actual, reasonable and necessary obligations incurred by authorized district officials.
Herricks Union Free School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Nassau County)
While the district adopted a policy regarding the procurement of professional services, the policy is unclear as to whether district officials are required to obtain quotes or request for proposals prior to selecting the vendor, or if district officials may simply select vendors solely on merit or recommendation. Auditors found that 20 of the 24 professional service providers, who were collectively paid a total of $505,695, were hired without seeking competition. Additionally, the district did not implement effective controls to safeguard computer data. Lastly, the audit found that the district established an appropriate code of conduct for district officers and employees.
Orange-Ulster Board of Cooperative Educational Services – Internal Controls Over Purchasing (Orange and Ulster counties)
BOCES officials need to improve controls over purchasing. BOCES officials did not obtain quotes for five purchases that did not require competitive bidding. In another case, a vendor was designated as a “sole source” without any documentation to support that designation. In addition, the BOCES did not have written contracts with three professional service providers. The audit also found payments to 21 vendors totaling $105,000 that were not reported to the Internal Revenue Service as required.
Click here to view the audits 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.