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July 8, 2008

DiNapoli’s Office Completes School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of East Greenbush Central School District, East Quogue Union Free School District, Longwood Central School District, Poland Central School District, Shoreham-Wading River Central School District and Westhill 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.”

East Greenbush Central School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Rensselaer and Columbia counties)
The district’s claims auditor was not properly trained, which resulted in claim payments that were not consistent with district policies. More than $6,200 in credit card purchases and expense reimbursements did not conform to the district’s adopted policies. In addition, the individual performing the district’s internal audit function was not entirely independent because he is jointly employed by the district and the Rensselaer-Columbia-Greene Board of Cooperative Educational Services and may be required to evaluate significant services or programs that BOCES provides to the district.

East Quogue Union Free School District – Internal Controls Over Purchasing and Information Technology (Suffolk County)
District officials did not competitively bid $77,854 worth of goods purchased from two vendors and also paid nine vendors a total of $251,820 for professional services without soliciting competitive proposals. In addition, the district did not have written agreements with five professional service providers who collectively received $66,159 during the audit period. District officials did not effectively safeguard computers and computer data.

Longwood Central School District – Professional Service Contracts and Computer Data Safeguards (Suffolk County)
The audit found that district officials generally did not solicit request for proposals when obtaining professional services and therefore paid nine professional providers more than $1.2 million for contracts awarded without the benefit of competition. Additionally, the district obtained services from five professionals totaling $326,800 without using properly executed contracts, and paid a sixth vendor $30,360 without a board-approved contract. Furthermore, auditors found the district incurred expenses of $12,299 for professional services provided prior to the issuance of purchase orders. Finally, the district did not adequately implement procedures to safeguard computer data.

Poland Central School District – Internal Controls Over Cash Disbursements (Hamilton, Herkimer and Oneida counties)
The audit disclosed that the district did not appropriately segregate the duties of the treasurer and the deputy treasurer, nor did it establish sufficient compensating controls. Both the treasurer and the deputy treasurer had access rights to all accounting functions in the computerized accounting system. In addition, the treasurer does not maintain adequate control over her signature. The district’s recordkeeping was also inadequate to protect district assets. The district received check images from the bank, but these images only showed the front side of the checks for many district bank accounts.

Shoreham-Wading River Central School District – Internal Controls Over Payroll and Selected Purchasing Transactions (Suffolk County)
The board did not establish formal policies and procedures for processing payroll. Although district officials improved the process as of January 2007, other internal control weaknesses were not addressed. The audit also found the district did not comply with the requirements of General Municipal Law in ten out of 26 purchases tested. Seven purchases totaling $129,580 should have been bid. Furthermore, the district did obtain written quotes for three purchases totaling $30,675.

Westhill Central School District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Onondaga County)
The audit identified internal control weaknesses in the district’s operations relating to cash disbursements that could lead to errors or irregularities occurring and not being detected. Specifically, the duties of the treasurer and claims auditor were not properly segregated. Furthermore, the claims auditor did not receive any written procedures or a written job description related to her claims auditing duties and did not report directly to the board. Finally, the district entered into a contract for $4,512 in the 2006-07 fiscal year in which a board member had a prohibited interest.

Click on the links above 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 the Press Office at 518-474-4015.



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