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July 1, 2008

 

DiNapoli's Office Completes School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Bolton Central School District, Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School District, Hartford Central School District and Marcellus Central 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.”

Bolton Central School DistrictInternal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Warren County)
District officials did not properly segregate financial duties in the business office or ensure that compensating controls were in place to serve as a system of checks and balances. Consequently, the business manager and the deputy treasurer performed numerous duties with minimal oversight. District officials also did not clearly assign the authority and responsibility for the security of the IT system to ensure business continuity. Finally, the board allowed the district to enter into a contract with a board member’s spouse for paving work totaling $4,450. This was inappropriate due to the board member’s prohibited interest in the contract.

Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School DistrictComputerized Data and Assets (Herkimer, Montgomery and Otsego counties)
The board did not establish comprehensive policies and procedures to effectively address the safeguarding of computerized data and assets. Specifically, the district did not adopt comprehensive policies and procedures over passwords and user access rights. The board also did not develop a formal disaster recovery plan or physically secure its computerized assets.

Hartford Central School DistrictInternal Controls Over Purchasing and Information Technology (Washington County)
The audit found that, while the district adopted a purchasing policy in 1992, the purchasing agent did not enforce the board-approved policy and the board did not sufficiently monitor controls over the purchasing process. More specifically, the purchasing agent entered into district contracts and approved purchases that were not supported with quotes, as required by district purchasing policies, did not require certain departments to use the purchase order system and did not implement procedures to ensure that sufficient appropriations were available to pay for purchases. Further, the board did not perform a proper audit of claims. Finally, the district did not have adequate written policies and procedures to protect electronic data stored by the district.

Marcellus Central School DistrictInternal Controls Over Payroll (Onondaga County)
District officials did not establish policies and procedures for payroll processing and the board did not establish policies or resolutions to define the benefits for employees who are not covered by collective bargaining agreements or employment contracts. In addition, there was a lack of segregation of duties and management oversight over the payroll function. As a result, employees may have been overpaid and others may not have been compensated as intended by the board. In addition, there was an increased risk that employees will not receive all, and only, the benefits intended by the board.

Click here to view the audits and budget reviews.

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

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