July 25, 2008
DiNapoli: Lack of Oversight Led to $206,485 in Past Due Property Taxes at Jamestown City SD
A lack of management oversight and attention to district operations at Jamestown City School District caused the district to be unaware of $206,485 in past due property taxes and put the district at increased risk for errors to go undetected, according to an audit released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
“Schools districts rely on millions of taxpayer dollars so it is very important that they carefully track money that is owed to the district,” DiNapoli said. “Unfortunately, a lack of oversight caused the Jamestown school district to be unaware of more than $200,000 in back taxes.”
DiNapoli’s audit, covering July 2005 through December 2007, found the district does not have an accounting procedures manual and district management failed to properly segregate or provide sufficient oversight of treasury and accounting duties.
Auditors found the lack of oversight and improperly prepared records caused the district to be unaware of $206,485 in outstanding property taxes. After auditors discovered the outstanding taxes, Chautauqua County remitted the taxes with interest to the district. More than half of the unpaid taxes were more than a year past due.
Auditors also discovered there was virtually no oversight of the treasurer’s billing and collecting of retiree health insurance contributions, which puts the district at increased risk that errors could go undetected.
DiNapoli’s audit also identified a number of weaknesses involving lack of attention to financial operations, poor segregation of fiscal duties and violations of district policy. In particular, auditors found:
Auditors also found three employees submitted and approved their own timesheets and two employees were paid $8,320 more than the stated contract rate for acting as department chairpersons.
The audit recommends that district officials:
The district generally agreed with the audit’s findings and has begun implementing corrective action.
Click here to view the audit.
School District Accountability: