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August 3, 2009

DiNapoli Holds School Districts Accountable:
Will Determine if Audit Recommendations
Acted On by 34 Schools Statewide

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New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s office recently initiated school audit follow-up reviews of 34 school districts across the state, DiNapoli announced today at a news conference in Nassau County. The school districts were previously audited by DiNapoli’s office and auditors are now checking to see if these districts implemented the recommendations in the initial audits of the districts.

“Taxpayers have a right to know if their local school districts took action to address concerns identified by our auditors,” DiNapoli said. “Our audits determine if proper policies and procedures are in place and include recommendations on how school districts can better protect taxpayer dollars. Following up on these audits increases accountability of school districts and adds transparency to the school districts’ finances.”

Each school district is required to submit corrective action plans to DiNapoli’s office within 90 days of an audit’s release that details how the district will address the concerns raised in the audit and implement the audit’s recommendations. Auditors will determine if the districts followed their corrective action plans.

Once auditors conclude their review of each district, the district will receive a letter that details which recommendations the district implemented correctly and which recommendations, if any, the district still needs to work on. These letters will be posted on DiNapoli’s website and will be released to the public.

DiNapoli’s office initiated school audit follow-up reviews of the districts in the following charts. Additional follow-up reviews will be scheduled later in the year. To view the initial audits of the districts, click the year the audit was released or visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/schools/index.htm.

School District Accountability
In order to improve accountability of the state’s schools, DiNapoli’s office will audit all of New York’s school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services by 2010. The State Comptroller’s office has completed 620 school audits and approximately 113 school audits are currently underway.

Statewide School Audit Follow-Up Reviews

School District

Audit Released

Previous Audit Findings

County

Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk CSD

2007

$38,000 in payments to employees were not supported by contract provisions or board resolutions; weak controls over purchasing, claims processing, cash receipts and disbursements

Albany

Vestal CSD - Internal Controls; Energy Conservation

2008;
2008

$15,305 in questionable spending and inappropriate use of computers; could save $26,000 by shutting down computers at night

Broome

Clymer CSD

2007

Numerous problems in the District’s financial operations

Chautauqua

Germantown CSD

2007

Failed to follow General Municipal Law when awarding some contracts; lack of documentation for fuel purchases credit cards

Columbia

Cortland CSD

2008

Lack of documentation for purchasing and credit card use; did not properly audit $52.7 million in claims

Cortland

Margaretville CSD

2008

Did not properly segregate cash receipt and disbursement duties; did not comply with procurement policy

Delaware

East Aurora UFSD

2007

Inadequate controls over financial transactions; deficiencies in claims processing, a transportation contract and separation payments

Erie

Lake Placid CSD

2007

Levied $190,000 more in taxes than needed

Essex

Brockport CSD

2007

Weaknesses in controls over credit card purchases

Monroe

Canajoharie CSD

2006

Weaknesses in inventory procedures for electronic equipment; missing electronic equipment

Montgomery

East Williston UFSD

2007

Lack of procurement policy for professional services

Nassau

Jericho UFSD

2007

Lack of documentation to support thousands of dollars in credit card purchases; board did not approve car lease for superintendent; weaknesses in handling of cash receipts and disbursements

Nassau

Seaford UFSD

2006

Poor financial management practices

Nassau

Sewanhaka Central High SD

2007

$1.8 million in professional service contracts awarded without competition; lacked a computer security policy

Nassau

Uniondale UFSD

2007

Awarded professional service contracts without seeking requests for proposals

Nassau

East Syracuse-Minoa CSD

2008

Weaknesses in controls over cash disbursements, claims processing, payroll and access rights to the district’s accounting system

Onondaga

Mexico Academy and CSD

2007

Financial duties not properly segregated

Oswego

Unatego CSD

2008

Insufficient oversight of the business official; inadequate policies over purchasing, claims auditing and information technology

Otsego

Haverstraw-Stony Point CSD

2007

Improper accounting for a capital project; weaknesses in overtime procedures, purchases and claims auditing

Rockland

Schuylerville CSD

2006

Inadequate inventory procedures for computer equipment; paid $17,800 in reimbursements to employees and board members without adequate documentation

Saratoga

South Glens Falls CSD

2007

Failed to properly segregate financial duties among employees; significant deficiencies in purchasing process

Saratoga

Schoharie CSD

2008

Failed to adequately safeguard of computerized data and assets

Schoharie

Brentwood UFSD

2006

Failed to establish critical internal controls

Suffolk

Commack UFSD

2007

Lack of oversight for administrator expense accounts; failed to follow General Municipal Law when awarding contracts

Suffolk

Hauppauge UFSD

2007

Better financial oversight could have reduced tax levy by $1 million; inaccurate financial information

Suffolk

North Babylon UFSD

2007

Inadequate monitoring of finances led to $2.8 million in unneeded cuts

Suffolk

Three Village CSD

2007

Failed to establish critical internal controls; paid $165,000 for meals and refreshments at meetings; paid unnecessary travel expenses

Suffolk

William Floyd UFSD

2006

$6.4 million in questionable and unauthorized expenses; chronically lax oversight by the board

Suffolk

Saugerties CSD

2006

Paid for unsupported  travel and entertainment expenses, meal expenses, credit card charges and cellular phone costs; over-expended 13 budgetary accounts; did not follow procurement policies

Ulster

Warrensburg CSD

2007

$4,800 in improper payments to administrators; awarded contracts without competition; failed to properly segregate cash disbursement and payroll activities among employees

Warren

Valhalla UFSD

2008

Spent $456,400 contrary to grant requirements and $38,500 more than necessary in life insurance premiums

Westchester

White Plains CSD

2007

Incurred $614,000 of overtime without maintaining adequate documentation; inadequate oversight of payroll certification

Westchester

Warsaw CSD

2006

Insufficient oversight of extra-classroom activity funds; to maintain adequate inventory records of its capital assets

Wyoming

Penn Yan CSD

2006

Inadequate monitoring of  budget status reports; paid  $8,000 in credit card purchases without following proper procedures; incomplete capital asset inventory records

Yates

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