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July 8, 2008

DiNapoli: Improved Controls at Whitesboro CSD Could
Have Prevented $11,800 in Inappropriate Payments

Whitesboro Central School District paid a total of $11,802 to six employees for unused vacation days, which their contracts did not allow for, and did not properly segregate financial duties among employees, according to an audit released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“Employee contracts are legal documents that spell out benefits,” DiNapoli said. “Whitesboro cost taxpayers $11,000 by giving employees benefits they were not supposed to get. The district has to ensure that employees only receive the benefits stipulated in their contract.”

DiNapoli’s audit, covering July 2006 through July 2007, found the district’s superintendent granted six administrative employees payment for unused vacation days, when their contracts only allowed for the vacation days to be carried over. Auditors also discovered nine out of 11 employment contracts were not signed by the appropriate district officials.

Auditors also found the district did not properly segregate payroll duties but instead made the payroll clerk directly responsible for all aspects of preparing, processing and recording payroll transactions. By placing the total responsibility of payroll processing in one individual, the district is at risk for errors and irregularities that could go undetected. In addition, the district failed to properly segregate the cash receipt and disbursement duties.

The audit recommends that district officials:

  • establish oversight procedures to ensure that employees are paid according to their employments contracts;
  • maintain signed individual employment contracts for all administrative employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement;
  • ensure that one person does not perform all aspects of payroll processing; and
    properly segregate the duties of the treasurer.

The district’s full response is included in the audit.

Click here for a copy of the audit.

School District Accountability Initiative
In order to improve accountability of the state’s schools, DiNapoli’s office will audit all of New York’s 834 school districts, Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and charter schools by 2010. The State Comptroller’s office has completed 425 school audits and approximately 200 school audits are currently underway.



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