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February 26, 2008

DiNapoli’s Office Completes School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Camden Central School District, East Hampton Union Free School District, Johnsburg Central School District, Mount Morris Central School District and Shelter Island Union Free School District.

“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.”

Camden Central School District – Internal Controls Over the Treasurer’s Check Disbursement Process (Oneida, Oswego and Lewis counties)
The audit identified deficiencies in the treasurer’s oversight of the check-signing function. District general fund accounts payable checks and payroll checks are printed by Madison-Oneida BOCES employees using the treasurer’s signature without any involvement of the treasurer. Also, the audit found the treasurer did not ensure that all check disbursements were approved by the claims auditor (claims) or assistant superintendent for business (payroll) and did not monitor the continuity of check number sequences between warrant or payroll periods or physically control the checks prior to mailing.

East Hampton Union Free School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Suffolk County)
The claims auditor audited claims prior to payment but she did not report to the board or sign the warrants and submit them to the board for approval. In addition, the payroll clerk and accounts payable clerk had access to the treasurer’s signature disk and the ability to print checks even in the absence of the treasurer.

Johnsburg Central School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Warren County)
Although the board established policies for the procurement of various goods and services, including travel and the use of credit cards, the board did not adopt procedures to ensure that district officials monitored employees’ compliance with board policies and related internal controls. The audit also found the board did not establish any formal policies and procedures for auditing district claims, nor did it perform a proper audit of claims. Lastly, the board did not establish a payroll policy or any formal written procedures to guide the payroll process.

Mount Morris Central School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Livingston County)
The audit found significant deficiencies in the internal controls over claims processing. The board audited claims on an exception only basis, while reviewing the warrants. Therefore, the board did not perform a proper audit of claims, allowing some payments to be made even though claim voucher packages lacked purchase orders. In addition, the district did not have adequate segregation of duties over the cash receipts and payroll processes to ensure that one person did not control all phases of a transaction.

Shelter Island Union Free School District – Internal Controls Over Employee Fringe Benefits and the School Lunch Fund (Suffolk County)
The audit found the district reimbursed four employees a total of $20,392 for waiving their right to participate in the health insurance plan, even though they were not specifically entitled to this benefit. The audit also found that district staff did not reconcile the cash in the cafeteria cash boxes to lunch sales recorded on the “lunch count form.”

School District Accountability
In order to improve accountability of the state’s schools, DiNapoli’s office will audit all of New York’s 834 school districts, Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and charter schools by 2010. The State Comptroller’s office has completed 375 school audits and approximately 200 audits are currently underway.

Click here for a copy of the above audits.

If you have any questions or would like a comment from the Comptroller’s office regarding any of the audits above, please contact the Press Office at 518-474-4015.


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