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July 15, 2008

DiNapoli Audit: Port Jefferson SD Gets it Right
Proper Fiscal Oversight Procedures in Place

Model for Other School Districts to Follow

Port Jefferson School District established proper procedures to monitor fiscal practices and protect taxpayer resources, according to an audit released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“Many school districts do not have enough staff to properly spread out financial duties,” DiNapoli said. “In these situations, additional levels of oversight are necessary to reduce the risk of mistakes with taxpayer dollars. The multiple procedures and controls that the Port Jefferson school district has to prevent errors and ensure proper spending of taxpayer dollars is exactly how it should be done. Strong fiscal practices allow districts to place their focus on the education of the students.”

DiNapoli’s audit, covering July 2006 through October 2007, found the district implemented adequate procedures and controls to decrease the risk of error and irregularities associated with the payroll process and conflicting duties. Because the district’s payroll clerk performed nearly all aspects of processing the payroll, the district put proper procedures in place to ensure that the clerk’s work was checked and properly overseen. The district assigned oversight duties to the business manager, assistant superintendent for business and claims auditor.

Additional best practices the district employs include:

  • maintaining required employee documentation;
  • verifying, at random, employee salaries to board resolutions, contracts and time sheets;
  • properly accounting for leave accruals; and
  • appropriately authorizing overtime and respective payments.

School District Accountability:
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.

Click here for a copy of the audit.



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