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March 25, 2008

DiNapoli's Office Completes School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Duanesburg Central School District, Gloversville Enlarged School District, Hastings-on-Hudson Union Free School District, Randolph Central School District and Tuckahoe Common 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.”

Duanesburg Central School DistrictInternal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Albany, Montgomery, Schenectady and Schoharie counties)
Auditors found payroll duties were not adequately segregated and internal controls were not sufficient. Further, district officials did not consistently comply with provisions in the district’s employment agreements concerning the accumulation of leave time. As a result, some district employees received benefits that the district did not intend to provide. In addition, the district’s internal controls over purchasing, claims processing and information technology were weak in some aspects.

Gloversville Enlarged School DistrictInternal Controls Over Claims Processing (Fulton County)
The audit found internal controls over expense claims processing were weak. Board members indicated that they did not look at every expense claim; instead, they would only scan the abstracts and select certain claims for review. For example, the board might review a large claim or a claim being made by an employee or official. During this process, all claim packets were present so that the board could review any claim in question. Auditors’ testing of 136 claims, aggregating $528,129, did not disclose the payment of any inappropriate claims.

Hastings-on-Hudson Union Free School DistrictInternal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Westchester County)
The audit of the IT system disclosed weaknesses in the controls over users’ access to the district’s financial information and student data applications. District officials have not adopted policies and procedures that address changes made to the district’s computer hardware and software
systems. The payroll clerk’s duties were not adequately segregated. In addition, the board did not authorize payment made in excess of $17,000 to the director of technology for additional administrative technology consulting work.

Randolph Central School DistrictInternal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties)
In the 2006-07 fiscal year, the district spent $2.6 million on services provided by BOCES. Based on the material nature of these payments by the district to the BOCES, the BOCES employee serving as the internal auditor is not independent in performing the district’s internal audit function. This current arrangement is likely to put this individual, as a BOCES employee, in the position of evaluating significant district services or programs that are provided to the district by BOCES, the individual’s employer.

Tuckahoe Common School DistrictInternal Controls Over Financial Operations and Leave Accruals (Suffolk County)
The audit identified weaknesses in the district’s controls over financial operations. The business official/treasurer and senior administrative assistant perform incompatible duties involving the key financial functions of authorizing transactions, custody of assets, processing payroll and recordkeeping. As a result, there is no assurance that errors and irregularities, if they occur, could be prevented, detected or corrected timely. There was also a lack of control over budgetary transfers and original voided checks were not maintained. In addition, auditors found that leave accrual balances were not properly maintained. As a result, employees either received additional leave time accruals or used leave time that they were not eligible for.

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 390 school audits and approximately 200 audits are currently underway.

Click here to view the audits above.

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



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