DiNapoli's Office Completes School Audits
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Galway Central School District, Oriskany Central School District and Solvay Union Free 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.”
Galway Central School District – Internal Controls Over Purchasing (Saratoga)
The board adopted written purchasing policies and procedures outlining the purchasing process, including the procurement of goods and services. However, the policy did not require bid and quote documentation to be attached to the purchase orders for purchases under the bid threshold. Also, district officials did not always follow the board-adopted policies. As a result, over $383,000 in purchases were either not properly reviewed and approved by the purchasing agent, were not properly audited, or did not contain documentation that more than one vendor was quoted.
Oriskany Central School District – Internal Controls Over Cash Disbursements (Oneida)
A review of 75 payments totaling $273,000, made in September 2009, and 25 payroll disbursements totaling $29,000, made from July 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010, found no irregularities or inconsistencies between canceled checks and authorized warrants or certified payrolls. However, auditors found weaknesses in internal controls over cash disbursements which increase the risk of errors and improper payments. Auditors found the district’s treasurer does not control her electronic signature or signature plate and, while she does receive the bank statements before sending them to BOCES, performs only a cursory review of them which is not sufficient to identify any discrepancies that could indicate improper payments. No one at the district verifies the reconciliation provided by BOCES against the bank statements and canceled checks and printed payroll checks cannot be checked for accuracy because they arrive at the district already sealed. School officials also do not receive and review change reports which would provide a compensating control.
Solvay Union Free School District – Internal Controls Over the Claims Audit Function and Information Technology (Onondaga)
The board did not appoint a claims auditor in accordance with State Education Department (SED) regulations. The board appointed the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services (OCM BOCES) central business office to serve as the district’s claims auditor for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 fiscal years. However, this arrangement is specifically prohibited by SED regulations. In addition, the board appointed a district employee as deputy claims auditor to audit district claims payable to OCM BOCES, but there is no legal authority to appoint more than one claims auditor. Auditors reviewed 20 claims totaling $573,663 to ensure the claims were proper and supported, and did not find any discrepancies. In addition, the board has not established written policies and procedures for computer user access, monitoring activity through audit logs and change reports, or disaster recovery.
To view the audits above, visit: www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/index.htm. If you have any questions or would like a comment from the Comptroller’s office regarding the audits above, please call the Press Office at 518-474-4015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.