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November 24, 2009

DiNapoli’s Office Completes School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Binghamton City School District and Cattaraugus-Allegany-Erie-Wyoming Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

“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.”

Binghamton City SD – Computer Recycling and Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Broome County)
The audit found district officials recycled more than six tons of computer and computer-related equipment in the 2007-08 school year, which conserved a significant amount of environmental resources. According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, officials reduced air and water emissions by more than 324 tons by recycling its obsolete computers. Auditors also found the board appointed BOCES employee as the district’s claims auditor. This is against State Education Department guidelines. Finally, the director of food services did not monitor the financial activities of cafeteria operations.

Cattaraugus-Allegany-Erie-Wyoming BOCES
Auditors found BOCES did not effectively manage its operating surplus and had no authority to establish a trust account for post-retirement health insurance costs, which totaled $11.3 million in June 2008. The trust account was funded by transferring operating surpluses to the trust and agency fund instead of returning the surpluses to component districts as required. Auditors also found weaknesses in BOCES’ internal controls over its computerized accounting system administration. Finally, BOCES entered into an inter-municipal cooperative service agreement with 18 component school districts to provide for the districts’ internal audit function. A BOCES employee is not independent and therefore should not complete the districts’ internal audits.

School District Accountability
In order to improve accountability of the state’s schools, DiNapoli’s office will audit all of New York’s school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services by 2010. The State Comptroller’s office has completed 690 school audits and approximately 40 school audits are currently underway.

Click on the links to view the audits above.

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.


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