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March 12, 2013

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Niskayuna Central School District, Patchogue-Medford School District, Pine Bush Central School District and the South Glens Falls Central 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.”

Niskayuna Central School District – Financial Condition (Schenectady County)
For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, the school board planned to use approximately $4.1 million of fund balance to fund operations of the 2011-12 fiscal year. District officials, however, miscalculated the amount of available fund balance. This resulted in an unassigned fund balance deficit of $1.5 million. A decline in unassigned fund balance weakens the district’s financial condition and could impact the level of services provided to students in subsequent years.

Patchogue-Medford Union Free School District – Budget Review (Suffolk County)
Based on the results of the budget review, auditors found that the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the tentative budget are reasonable. Further, the district’s proposed budget complies with the property tax levy limit.

Pine Bush Central School District – Budgeting Practices and Transportation Cost Savings (Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan Counties)
The school board and district officials routinely overestimated expenditures in the district’s annual budget. Expenditures were overestimated by approximately $4.8 million in the 2009-10 fiscal year and $3.6 million in both the 2010-11 and 2011-12 fiscal years. In addition, the district had excess capacity on 124 of the 210 bus routes reviewed by auditors. Consolidating some routes could potentially save the district over $130,000 per year.

South Glens Falls Central School District – Access Rights (Saratoga County)
The school board has not adopted comprehensive policies to ensure that access to the district’s financial system is restricted to only those functions required by individual employees’ job duties. In addition, district officials have not implemented access controls to ensure proper segregation of duties within the financial system and to limit access to users based on their job descriptions and responsibilities.

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