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October 11, 2007

DiNapoli Audit Finds Hampton Bays School District
Failed to Seek Competition for Contracts

Hampton Bays Union Free School District violated its own policies when the district did not seek competitive proposals for five contracts totaling $154,798, according to an audit released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. In one instance, the district did not seek competitive bids as required by General Municipal Law.

“Seeking the best price for goods and services ensures that taxpayers are not paying more than they should,” DiNapoli said. “Hampton Bays School District failed to comply with its own school board’s policies by not seeking competitive proposals and may have paid too much.”

Auditors found the district did not adhere to a board policy requiring a request-for-proposal process when awarding professional service contracts. The contracts included:

  • $61,862 for therapy services;
  • $33,351 for a technical advisor;
  • $6,505 for tutoring services; and
  • $5,450 for an academic consultant.

In addition, auditors discovered the district paid $47,630 to a computer vendor without publicly advertising for bids. General Municipal Law requires public advertisement for contracts for materials, equipment and supplies that cost more than $10,000 in one calendar year.

The audit also found:

  • $1,704 in charges on district credit cards that lacked proper documentation;
  • insufficient controls over access to the district’s financial computer systems; and
  • the district lacked a formal disaster recovery plan.

The audit recommends that the board only approve contracts for professional services after proposals are solicited in accordance with the board’s policy. The district generally agreed with the audit’s findings and the district’s full response is included in the audit.

School District Accountability
In order to improve accountability of the state’s schools, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s office will audit all of New York’s 832 school districts, Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and charters schools by 2010. The State Comptroller’s office has completed more than 260 school audits and approximately 240 audits are currently underway.

Click here for a copyof the audit.



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