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December 3, 2008

 

DiNapoli's Office Completes School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Chittenango Central School District, Florida Union Free School District, Hicksville Union Free School District, Kingston City School District, Pawling Central School District and Windsor 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.”

Chittenango Central School District – Internal Controls Over Cash Disbursements (Madison and Onondaga counties)
The district did not adequately segregate the duties of the treasurer to provide proper checks and balances for safeguarding district assets. In addition, the treasurer did not affix or directly supervise the application of his electronic signature to district checks. An audit of cash disbursements disclosed no significant errors or irregularities. In addition, auditors noted weaknesses in internal controls over the district’s process for classifying workers whom the district enrolls in the Retirement System.

Florida Union Free School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Orange County)
District officials paid $140,740 for professional services without written agreements or documentation to support the payment of providers’ claims. District officials did not follow district policy when it made five purchases without obtaining three written quotes and did not use competitive bidding, as required by law, to purchase computer and sports equipment. In addition, the district lost interest revenue of $15,387 because the Town of Warwick collects taxes for those district taxpayers residing within the town, which delays the deposit of funds into the district’s bank account.

Hicksville Union Free School District – Internal Controls Over Procurement (Nassau County)
Auditors found that the district’s policies relating to the procurement of professional services were not adequately designed or effectively operating. As a result, district personnel acquired professional services totaling $2.7 million without using a competitive process and paid one firm a total of $217,311 without a written contract. In addition, district employees did not follow the board’s policy governing the use of its gasoline cards. Furthermore, the district did not have written policies and procedures to govern the use of store-specific purchase cards.

Kingston City School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Ulster County)
The audit found weaknesses in several of the district’s financial operations. The treasurer and deputy treasurer had administrative access to the IT system and their duties were not properly segregated. District officials did not establish formal policies and procedures for cash receipts and disbursements and payroll processing. Lastly, the audit noted a weakness in internal controls over the district’s process for classifying workers who the district enrolls in the Retirement System.

Pawling Central School District – Financial Condition and Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Dutchess and Putnam counties)
The district’s general and school lunch fund balances are not sufficient to fund current operations. The district’s reported general fund balance has declined from $2.9 million in July 2004 to $1.34 million as of June 2007. Of the $1.34 million fund balance in June 2007, $1.27 million was reserved, leaving only $70,000 available for appropriation. However, the district appropriated $600,000 of fund balance for its 2007-08 general fund budget. As a result, the adopted general fund budget for the 2007-08 fiscal year had a financing shortfall of $530,000. District officials also did not appropriately design controls for overtime work. Furthermore, the district has not always complied with competitive bidding laws or their own procurement policy. Lastly, the audit noted weaknesses in internal controls over the district’s process for classifying workers whom the district enrolls in the Retirement System.

Windsor Central School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Broome County)
The board appointed an employee of BOCES as the district’s claims auditor. This is against the New York State Education Department’s (SED) guidance. In addition, the board appointed a second BOCES employee to serve as the district’s deputy claims auditor; however, there is no provision in Education Law that permits the Board to appoint more than one claims auditor. The audit also noted weaknesses in internal controls over the district’s process for classifying workers whom the district enrolls in the Retirement System.

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.

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