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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

August 8, 2014, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Carthage Central School District, the Norwich City School District and the Richfield Springs Central School District.

“In an era of limited resources and increased accountability, it’s critical that schools make every dollar count,” DiNapoli said. “By auditing school district and charter school finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively.”

Carthage Central School District - Financial Condition (Jefferson and Lewis counties)
District officials have consistently overestimated expenditures by a total of $19.7 million and increased the tax levy by 11.5 percent over the five-year period ending June 30, 2013. These budgeting practices generated approximately $14 million in operating surpluses, which caused unexpended surplus funds to exceed statutory limits in each of those years.

Norwich City School District - Financial Condition and Cafeteria Operations (Chenango County)
The board and district officials did not properly manage the financial condition of the general and school lunch funds. The general fund had deficits in the last three years while the school lunch fund had deficits in the last two years. Auditors also project both the general and school lunch funds to end the 2013-14 fiscal year with deficits of $1.8 million and $89,000, respectively. The general fund could become financially stressed due to the recurring operating deficits, potential litigation, potential buy back of retirement services, improper payments being made from the employee benefit accrued liability reserve, subsidies to the school lunch fund and loans to the school lunch fund that are unlikely to be paid back to general fund.

Richfield Springs Central School District – Financial Condition (Otsego County)
The district accumulated a significant surplus of fund balance from 2008-09 to 2011-12. Although district officials included a budgetary provision to use some of the accumulated surplus to finance operations, the surplus was not used because the district spent less than the revenues received in those years. Most of this accumulation was the result of significant overestimations of expenditures from several years ago. Over the last three fiscal years, the board adopted more reasonable budgets with actual revenues and expenditures coming within estimates by an average of 1 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

 

 

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For access to state and local government spending and nearly 50,000 state contracts, visit http://www.openbooknewyork.com/. The easy-to-use website was created by Comptroller DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.

 

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