DiNapoli's Office Completes School Audits
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Buffalo City School District, Mechanicville City School District and Tioga 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.”
Buffalo City School District – Internal Controls Over Information Technology Assets (Erie County)
The audit found the district has spent more than $227,000 for software tools in an attempt to implement viable inventory controls but failed to use those tools properly. As a result the district has not received any discernible benefit and therefore does not have assurances that its inventory system adequately controls the significant investment in IT resources.
Mechanicville City School District – School Bus Procurement and Transportation State Aid (Rensselaer and Saratoga counties)
Auditors found district officials did not seek approval from the State Education Department after leasing 12 buses in 2006 and two buses in 2008. As a result, the district did not receive more than $443,000 in transportation state aid. The current business manager submitted the required lease documentation to the State Education Department for approval and believes the district will likely receive the lost state aid for these leases. Auditors also compared the cost of leasing to the cost of purchasing the 14 buses and estimated district officials could have saved more than $316,000 by purchasing the buses. Finally, district officials delayed the bidding process on a bus lease, providing its existing vendor with an unfair advantage in the subsequent procurement. The district received two bids and selected the higher bid (by $17,800) from the existing vendor because the other vendor could not supply the buses by the stated delivery date.
Tioga Central School District – Cost Savings (Tioga County)
The audit found the district could achieve potential cost savings by using the Tioga building only, while still maintaining class sizes for all kindergarten to grade 4 classes at an average of 21 students per class. By closing the Nichols building, the district could achieve annual cost savings of approximately $491,813. The district also could receive revenue of $1.44 million if it sold the Nichols building for the 2009 assessed value. In addition, the district’s annual cost savings would increase to approximately $513,948 if it sold the building, because the district would no longer pay for heating and electricity to maintain the building. Auditors also found that the district could achieve a net benefit of approximately $305,250 over five years by hiring a licensed speech language pathologist to provide speech therapy services. Additionally, district officials could save approximately $89,000 over five years if they hired an occupational therapist instead of using a third-party provider.
To view the audits above, visit: here
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