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March 09, 2011

 

DiNapoli's Office Completes School Audits


New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the AuSable Valley Central School District, the Brockport Central School District, the Holland Central School District, the Shoreham-Wading River Central School District, the Voorheesville Central School District. Also completed was a summary report on Controls over Online Banking in School Districts based on six earlier audits.

“My office’s audits of school districts 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.”

AuSable Valley Central School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties)
Auditors found the board had not adopted comprehensive written policies and procedures to provide guidance and internal controls for cash receipts. As a result, receipts were not properly accounted for or deposited in a timely manner. In addition, the board had not adopted comprehensive written policies and procedures for processing payroll. Consequently, there was a lack of segregation of duties, and compensating controls were either not in place, or not operating effectively. As a result, employee time records for additional hourly work were not submitted on time.

Brockport Central School District – Internal Controls Over Personal, Private and Sensitive Information and Information Technology (Monroe County)
Auditors determined the district has not effectively implemented procedures to safeguard personal, private and sensitive information. The district's record retention officer was not overseeing staff to ensure sensitive information was being properly disposed of in a timely manner in accordance with law. Auditors also found internal controls over IT were flawed and operating ineffectively.

Holland Central School District – Financial Condition and Public High Cost Aid (Erie County)
District officials did not prepare reasonable budgets for the 2005-06 through the 2009-10 fiscal years, underestimating revenues by $3.6 million and overestimating appropriations by $6.5 million over this period. As of June 30, 2010, the district had more than $1.5 million in excess funds that could be used to benefit taxpayers. Auditors also found district officials did not file state aid claims for public high cost aid in a timely manner, costing the district more than $401,000 in aid. The district could have lost an additional $189,000 for the 2008-09 fiscal year, but thanks to auditors were able to submit the required forms by the deadline.

Shoreham-Wading River Central School District Financial Condition (Suffolk County)
The district's fund balance declined significantly from an unreserved general fund balance of $4.1 million on June 30, 2006 to an unreserved fund deficit of approximately $2.8 million on June 30, 2008. The deficit occurred primarily because the district did not receive approximately $3.3 million in state aid it had expected to collect in the 2007-08 fiscal year, and about $1.8 million in aid from  2008-09. However, by closely monitoring the budget, reducing expenditures, utilizing reserve funds, and increasing real property taxes, the district was able improve its financial position and achieve a positive $2.5 million fund balance at June 30, 2010.

Voorheesville Central School District – Internal Controls Over Online Banking and Personal, Private, and Sensitive Information (Albany County)
The district did not have a banking agreement with each bank that it uses for electronic transfers, and the treasurer's method of accessing the banking websites was not secure. As a result, district funds are at risk of loss and misuse. Also, district officials have not developed procedures to properly sanitize computer equipment of personal, private and sensitive information before disposal.

Controls Over Online Banking in School Districts (Montgomery, Orange, Suffolk, Onondaga, Otsego and Albany Counties)
Auditors found that school districts can improve controls over their online banking processes. Auditors’ tests of 1,817 online transfers at six districts found that all the transfers were appropriate and properly recorded. However, auditors identified risks in online processing activities at all the districts. Five districts lacked a comprehensive online banking policy that clearly describes the district's online banking activities, identifies the employees who are authorized to perform them, and provides for verification of the accuracy and legitimacy of transfer transactions. Four districts allowed employees to perform online transfers from non-district computers that are not subject to district security protections. Auditors found one district lacked controls that help ensure employees access the internet in a safe and appropriate manner.

To view the audits above, visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/index.htm. If you have any questions or would like a comment from the Comptroller's office regarding the audits above, please call the Press Office at 518-474-4015 or email press@osc.state.ny.us


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