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March 11, 2008


DiNapoli's Office Completes School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Brooklyn Charter School, Saratoga Springs City School District, Schoharie Central School District and Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

“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.”

Brooklyn Charter School (Kings County)
Auditors reviewed the adequacy of the internal controls established by school officials over selected areas of financial operations and identified significant weaknesses in nearly all the areas tested. Improvements were particularly needed in the areas of disbursements, payroll, equipment inventory and financial oversight. The audit noted that board of trustee oversight had been weak since the school’s inception, and without improvement, assets were at risk of misappropriation or misuse.

Saratoga Springs City School District – Internal Controls Over Payroll (Saratoga County)
Except for some minor issues, which auditors addressed with district officials, the audit did not identify any significant deficiencies in either the payroll records or the payroll processes the audit examined. The district’s system of controls over the payroll process were designed appropriately and working effectively.

Schoharie Central School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Albany, Montgomery, Schenectady and Schoharie counties)
The board has not effectively addressed the safeguarding of computerized data and assets by establishing and monitoring policies and procedures. In addition, the board did not audit claims, nor did it appoint a claims auditor to do so, until December 1, 2006. As a result, approximately 77 percent of all claims, totaling approximately $13.2 million, paid during the audit period were not audited. Finally, the board and business administrator did not adequately address control risks inherent in the district treasurer's duties to ensure that she was accurately accounting for payroll-related transactions. The district treasurer has complete control over the payroll process.

Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services – Internal Controls Over Payroll and the Treasurer’s Signature Disk (Seneca, Tioga and Tompkins counties)
There is a lack of segregation of duties within the payroll process. The payroll clerk has complete control over the payroll process and full user access rights to payroll functions in the computerized financial system. In addition, the treasurer does not supervise and control the use of her facsimile signature, nor is she present when the payroll and accounts payable clerks apply her signature to checks.

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 384 school audits and approximately 200 audits are currently underway.

Click here for a copy of the above audits.

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



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