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March 22, 2011

 

DiNapoli's Office Completes School Audits


New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Cambridge Central School District, the Lansingburgh Central School District, the Mamaroneck Union Free School District, the Marathon Central School District, Northern Adirondack Central School District, the Pavilion Central School District and selected central New York school districts’ use of New York State and Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) Contracts.

“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.”

Cambridge Central School District – Internal Controls Over the Business Office (Washington County)
The board did not ensure that incompatible business office duties were properly segregated, nor did it establish sufficient compensating controls to address the lack of segregation. The district did not have comprehensive written policies and procedures in place to provide adequate guidance and internal controls over purchasing and payroll processing, financial software user rights and bank reconciliations.

Lansingburgh Central School District Internal Controls Over Capital Assets (Rensselaer County)
Auditors found that the district had improved its centralized control system over the district's inventories.

Mamaroneck Union Free School DistrictTransportation Cost Savings (Westchester County)
District officials contracted with a consulting firm to perform a study that included an analysis of the efficiency of the district's transportation operation. As of December 2010, district officials were in the process of evaluating the recommendations in the study report, but had not yet developed performance measures. Auditors, as of June 30, 2010, determined the district could save $1,282,692 by reducing excess capacity on buses, eliminating school runs, and sharing transportation for students with disabilities with neighboring districts.

Marathon Central School District – Cost Savings (Cortland County)
The district replaced 76 of its laptops with netbooks, creating cost savings of approximately $38,000 during the audit period. District officials could realize approximately $50,000 in additional savings if they continue to replace laptops with netbooks. The district purchased and installed wireless routers in-house instead of contracting out for the purchase and installation of this service, achieving savings of $36,000 during the audit period. Auditors determined the district could have saved an additional $46,500 over the past three years by offering a health insurance buyout incentive to more employees. 

Northern Adirondack Central School District – Fund Balance and Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Clinton County)
District officials have retained fund balance in excess of the legal limit over the last five fiscal years, resulting in the district collecting $3 million more in taxes than were needed to fund operations. In addition, the business manager did not submit the appropriate forms with the State Education Department (SED) to receive transportation aid for six buses purchased during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 fiscal years, which could have cost the district $464,000 in transportation aid. Weaknesses also exist in the controls over the business office's financial operations and extra-classroom activity funds.

Pavilion Central School District – Internal Controls Over Financial Condition (Genesee County)
The district accumulated more than $2.6 million in excess reserves. District officials routinely overestimated expenditures and underestimated revenues even though data was available to develop more accurate budget estimates. As a result, the district generated more than $3 million in operating surpluses over a four-year period. Over the past four fiscal years, district officials have made more than $2.8 million in unbudgeted transfers to various reserves. As of June 30, 2010, balances in the district's seven general fund reserves totaled $6.6 million.

Selected Central New York School Districts – Use of New York State and Board of Cooperative Educational Services Contracts
Auditors reviewed the purchases of 20 goods and services totaling $11.76 million during the audit period. They found the districts used OGS contracts (34 percent) or BOCES contracts (45 percent) for 16 purchases totaling $9.29 million (79 percent). The districts generally procured the remaining 21 percent of these purchases, totaling $2.47 million, by using a competitive bidding process, obtaining quotes prior to making the purchase or purchasing from a sole source provider. The districts audited were: Central Square, Jamesville-Dewitt, Oneida, Oswego, West Genesee and Whitesboro.
 
To view the audits above, visit: 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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