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December 01, 2010


DiNapoli's Office Completes School and Local Government Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the: Schuylerville-Victory Board of Water Management – Accounting Records and Reports; Owego-Apalachin Central School District – Energy Conservation Efforts; Newcomb Central School District – Resource Utilization; Goshen Central School District – Transportation Cost Savings; Fulton City School District - Retiree Health Insurance Payments; and City of Troy- Budget Review.

“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.”

Schuylerville-Victory Board of Water Management – Accounting Records and Reports (Saratoga County)
DiNapoli’s auditors found that the clerk-treasurer failed to keep accurate accounting records, and the board failed to provide oversight of the accounting system and of the clerk-treasurer’s financial activities. The board did not have an adequate accounting system that provided information needed to properly manage operations. Because the clerk-treasurer did not keep appropriate accounting records, she was unable to prepare timely, accurate and complete reports. She submitted incomplete, limited financial information to the board on an irregular basis. In addition, the clerk-treasurer did not file the village’s annual report with the Office of the State Comptroller as required since the end of the 2003-04 fiscal year. The board took no action to correct this situation.

Owego-Apalachin Central School District – Energy Conservation Efforts (Tioga County)
Auditors from DiNapoli’s office found that district officials used the capabilities of their energy management system (System) to ensure that their energy conservation procedures were followed. The district’s energy specialist pre-programmed the System with security mode times, external lighting timers, and occupied and non-occupied times and set points. Prior to establishing energy conservation procedures and programming the System, the district reported that they used 82 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per day. After establishing these procedures and fully utilizing their System, they were able to reduce their usage to 57.5 kWh of electricity per day. Additionally the district reduced the amount of therms used to heat district buildings; however, district officials were unable to calculate the reduction. The district saved approximately $1.4 million in electric and natural gas costs for the period of May 2004 through March 2010. Furthermore, auditors estimate that the district will continue to save approximately $252,000 annually.

Newcomb Central School District – Resource Utilization (Essex County)
DiNapoli’s auditors found that the district spends approximately $60,000 per year, per student, which is the highest cost per student in the 12-county Adirondack region. However, the district is in a remote location, and has only 80 students, 10 of whom are foreign. District officials have considered the needs of their students and found ways to improve education and reduce overall costs. Innovative ideas include establishing an in-house special education program, and participating in the Saratoga-Adirondack Distance Learning Program. As a result, the transportation time for special education students has been reduced, students have gained access to a greater selection of courses, and the district has saved $201,000 for the 2009-10 school year. In addition, the district will continue its in-house special education program for 2010-11 and will allow the Minerva Central School District to participate. As a result, the two districts will collectively save an additional $225,000.

Goshen Central School District – Transportation Cost Savings (Orange County)
Auditors from DiNapoli’s office found that district officials failed to identify opportunities to reduce the costs of student transportation because they did not develop performance measures for transportation efficiency or complete the analyses necessary to identify how the district can lower transportation costs and still continue to meet students’ needs. Auditors determined that the district can save money by reducing excess capacity on buses, eliminating separate private school runs, sharing transportation for students with disabilities with other districts, using in-house resources rather than contract transportation and increasing the bus to mechanic ratio. By making these changes to improve transportation efficiency, the district can achieve as much as $1.1 million in annual savings and more than $900,000 in long-term savings. DiNapoli’s auditors also found that the district failed to investigate the possibility that it might be able to claim almost $20,000 in additional state transportation aid.

Fulton City School District – Retiree Health Insurance Payments (Osewgo County)
DiNapoli’s auditors found that district officials have implemented effective internal controls by segregating the duties over the billing, collecting, recording and depositing of retiree health insurance payments. Auditors from DiNapoli’s office also found effective internal controls in place to help ensure that retirees’ credits are calculated correctly and approved, and are properly applied to retirees’ accounts. Auditors also reviewed the benefit administrator’s records to identify retirees who had canceled their insurance during the audit period and verified that the coverage was terminated per the billings from the district’s third-party administrator. DiNapoli’s auditors commended district officials for establishing strong internal controls over the application of health insurance credits and the billing and collecting of retirees’ health insurance premiums that are appropriately designed and operating effectively to adequately safeguard the district’s assets.

City of Troy- Budget Review (Rensselaer County)
Auditors from DiNapoli’s office found significant revenue and expenditure projections in the proposed budget to be reasonable. However, DiNapoli’s auditors noted that that the city’s budgeted contingency appropriation did not provide adequate flexibility to cover costs associated with unanticipated events. Auditors also found that the budget provided only minimal funding for capital improvements and the city had not fully funded its 2011 capital plan.

If you have any questions or would like a comment from the Comptroller’s Office regarding these audits, please call the press office at 518-474-4015, or send an email to



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