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June 6, 2013

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Bolton Central School District, Maine-Endwell Central School District, Plattsburgh City School District and the Warwick Valley 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.”

Bolton Central School District – Financial Condition (Warren County)
Although the school board adopted budgets that were realistic and supported by revenues, expenditures were consistently and significantly overestimated. In addition, the district has accumulated considerable unexpended surplus funds, up to four times the amount allowed by law. The district’s multiyear financial plan does not reduce the excessive unexpended surplus funds in a manner that benefits taxpayers.

Maine-Endwell Central School District – Financial Condition (Broome County)
Over the past three years, school district officials have appropriated fund balance in effort to maintain programs and services while keeping the tax levy as low as possible. As a result, the district’s year-end unexpended surplus fund balance has decreased from $1.7 million in 2009-10 to just over $64,000 in 2011-12. During this same period, the district received $2.4 million less in revenues than budgeted. Most of this shortfall was from reduced state aid and interest earnings.

Plattsburgh City School District – Internal Controls Over Payroll (Clinton County)
The school district established adequate internal controls over payroll and personal services. District officials implemented specific procedures to ensure that individuals reported on the payrolls were certified employees, were paid at their approved salaries and wages, and received only the benefits to which they were entitled.

Warwick Valley Central School District – Potential Operational Efficiencies (Orange County)
The school district could save on transportation costs by reducing excess capacity on buses, decreasing the number of spare buses in its fleet and increasing the district’s buses-to-mechanics ratio to a more efficient level. By making such changes to improve transportation efficiency, the district could realize up to $654,000 of annual cost savings and as much as $1.4 million in avoided future bus replacement costs.

For access to state and local government spending and more than 60,000 state contracts, visit http://www.openbooknewyork.com/. The easy-to-use website was created by Comptroller DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.

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