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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

News

From the Office of the New York State Comptroller

Thomas P. DiNapoli

January 4, 2017, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

State Comptroller DiNapoli Releases School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Canisteo-Greenwood Central School District, Chittenango Central School District, East Hampton Union Free School District, Jericho Union Free School District, Lyme Central School District, Red Creek Central School District, Sandy Creek Central School District, Sodus Central School District, St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Vertus Charter School, Westminster Community Charter School and the Whitesville Central School District.

“In an era of limited resources and increased accountability, it’s critical that schools make every dollar count,” DiNapoli said. “By auditing school district and charter school finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively.”

Canisteo-Greenwood Central School District – Financial Management (Allegany County)
District officials have not effectively managed fund balance and have allowed unrestricted fund balance to exceed the statutory limit for the past three fiscal years by an average of $2.7 million. As of June 30, 2015, unrestricted fund balance totaled $3.8 million and was 17 percent of 2015-16 budgeted appropriations, exceeding the statutory limit by $2.9 million.

Chittenango Central School District – Financial Management (Madison County)
The board and district officials did not develop reasonable budgets or effectively manage the district’s financial condition to ensure that the general fund’s unrestricted fund balance was within the statutory limit. District officials overestimated operating expenditures in each of the last three fiscal years totaling about $5.5 million and appropriated nearly $5.6 million in fund balance, most of which was not needed to fund operations.

East Hampton Union Free School District – Financial Software User Access (Suffolk County)
District officials did not comply with the board’s computer control policy. The board has not annually designated a system administrator. Instead, the board annually appoints a network systems manager who performs these duties. As a result, there may be confusion as to who is responsible for financial software administration.

Jericho Union Free School District – Financial Management (Nassau County)
The board and district officials overestimated budgeted appropriations by $9.8 to $12.4 million for three of the four years in the audit period. They also appropriated $14.9 million in fund balance during that time, which was not needed to finance operations because the district generated $22.8 million in operating surpluses during those three years.

Lyme Central School District – Financial Condition (Jefferson County)
District officials did not maintain fund balance in accordance with statutory requirements. Unrestricted fund balance exceeded the statutory limit for each of the last four years and increased to 16.4 percent as of June 30, 2016, or nearly $979,000 over the legal limit.

Red Creek Central School District – Financial Condition (Wayne County)
The board budgeted $678,000 of appropriated fund balance in each budget for fiscal years 2013-14 through 2015-16. However, actual operations resulted in 71 percent of the appropriated fund balance remaining unused because of overestimated expenditures. When adding back unused appropriated fund balance, the district’s recalculated unrestricted fund balance was between 4.9 and 7.3 percent of the next year’s budget in fiscal years 2012-13 through 2014-15, exceeding the statutory limit.

Sandy Creek Central School District – Cafeteria Operations (Oswego County)
District officials did not ensure cafeteria operations were financially self-sufficient. The district has incurred operating deficits that averaged approximately $10,000 annually from 2013-14 through 2015-16. Furthermore, district officials paid cafeteria employee benefits annually from the general fund for the same period. Had these expenditures, which averaged $169,000 annually, been paid from the school lunch fund, the average annual operating deficit would have increased to almost $179,000.

Sodus Central School District – Financial Management (Wayne County)
For fiscal years 2012-13 through 2015-16, the district overestimated expenditures that resulted in 84 percent of appropriated fund balance remaining unused. In addition, the district does not have a written plan detailing the appropriate and necessary levels for reserve funds and how they are to be monitored, analyzed and maintained. The district also lacks a long-term financial plan for both capital projects and operating expenses.

St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services – Payroll (2016M-371)
BOCES officials designed and implemented adequate payroll procedures to ensure that employees were accurately paid the salaries and wages to which they were entitled.

Vertus Charter School – Conflict of Interest and Information Technology (Monroe County)
Certain provisions of the school’s bylaws and code of ethics appear to be inconsistent with requirements under the school’s charter and state law. In addition, school officials have not implemented appropriate information technology policies and procedures.

Westminster Community Charter School – Procurement of Professional Services (Erie County)
The board has not established adequate written policies or procedures for procuring professional services. The school’s written purchasing procedures require school officials to seek competition for the purchase of commodities, but specifically exempts the procurement of professional services from price competition requirements. As a result, school officials did not use competitive methods when procuring professional services.

Whitesville Central School District – Financial Management (Allegany County)
District officials have not effectively managed fund balance and have allowed unrestricted fund balance to exceed the statutory limit for three fiscal years by 12 to 17 percentage points. As of June 30, 2015, the district’s unrestricted fund balance totaled more than $1.3 million and was 20 percent of the 2015-16 budgeted appropriations, exceeding the statutory limit by more than $1 million.

Albany Phone: (518) 474-4015 Fax: (518) 473-8940
NYC Phone: (212) 383-1388 Fax: (212) 681-7677
Internet: www.osc.state.ny.us
E-Mail: press@osc.state.ny.us