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Immediately
March 3, 2009



DiNapoli’s Office Completes School
And Local Government Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Cold Spring Harbor Central School District, the Pearl River Union Free School District and the Town of Owego.

“My office’s audits help school districts, BOCES and local governments improve their financial management practices,” DiNapoli said. “These audits are tools for them to make sure proper policies and procedures are in place to protect taxpayer dollars and provide students with the best possible education and citizens with the best possible services.”

Cold Spring Harbor Central School District Internal Controls Over Procurement and Information Technology
The Board has adopted a purchasing policy that outlines when and how to use competitive bidding, and when to obtain quotes. However, District officials did not publicly advertise for competitive bids for payments to four vendors totaling $80,778, or for contracts awarded to three vendors totaling $607,791 that have yet to be paid. In addition, quotes were not obtained for payments to three vendors totaling $6,147. We also found that the purchasing policy does not require District officials to use RFPs when procuring professional services. Therefore, District officials continued to use the same professionals year after year without the benefit of competition. Internal controls over the District’s IT system also need to be strengthened. While the Board has adopted policies and regulations to safeguard computer equipment and data, the policies and regulations do not effectively address remote access and server room security.

Pearl River Union Free School District Internal Controls Over the Procurement of Professional Services
The Board has adopted a purchasing policy which states that alternate proposals, written or verbal quotations or other form of competition shall be used to secure professional services. However, District officials have not implemented the policy. We reviewed the procurement procedures and contracts for 15 professional service providers who received a total of $585,220 during our audit period. We found that the services of all 15 were procured without the use of RFPs or any other form of competition; for example, architectural services ($177,892), attorney services ($121,811), physical therapy services ($21,331), and external audit services ($33,100).

Town of Owego Highway Procurement
The Highway Superintendent did not ensure that purchases of road materials were in accordance with contracts and obtained at the lowest cost. As a result, the Town paid approximately $14,900 more than it should have for purchases under State or County contract.

Click on the above links to view the audits.

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

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