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July 22, 2008


DiNapoli's Office Completed School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Berkshire Union Free School District, Eastport-South Manor Central School District, North Warren Central School District and Pittsford 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.”

Berkshire Union Free School District – Financial Condition and Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Columbia County)
The district’s financial statements showed that the general fund balance declined from a total of $263,580 as of June 30, 2004 to a deficit of $1,793,223 as of June 30, 2007. This decline of $2,056,803, due primarily to a shortfall in budgeted tuition revenue, represented a significant weakening of the district’s overall financial condition. In addition, the district was unable to maintain adequate cash flow, requiring the issuance of revenue anticipation notes ranging from $1.7 million at June 30, 2006 to $3 million at June 30, 2007. The district had not developed a comprehensive plan to address the deficit if additional aid was not received.

Eastport- South Manor Central School District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations(Suffolk County)
District officials adopted sound purchasing policies that clearly outline when and how to use competitive bidding and when to obtain quotes when purchasing goods or services that are not subject to bidding requirements set by law. Auditors’ testing revealed only minor discrepancies in the district’s adherence to these policies, which were discussed orally with district officials to help them improve controls in this area.

North Warren Central School District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (Warren and Essex counties)
Auditors found weaknesses in several of the district’s financial operations, generally caused by the board’s failure to adopt adequate policies and procedures, or in the case of the extra-classroom activity fund, the failure to follow the adopted policy. In addition the policies and procedures guiding the claims auditing process were inadequate and as a result, the district did not perform an effective audit of claims. Finally, the audit found that the controls governing the district’s computer system user rights had not been adequately established and certain network password controls were disabled. The board had not established a formal disaster recovery plan, nor were there formal procedures for backing up and storing data.

Pittsford Central School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Monroe and Ontario counties)
The board had not established an overtime policy and related procedures, and district officials did not establish appropriate controls over overtime expenditures. As a result, various employees received overtime pay of approximately $34,000 without pre-approval and $21,000 of this amount was paid without supporting documentation. In addition, district officials did not enter into written agreements with 17 service providers, who were paid approximately $252,000 because of the lack of guidance from the board. Finally, internal controls over various aspects of the district’s information technology were lacking.

Click here to view the audits and budget reviews above.

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


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