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October 7, 2008

DiNapoli’s Office Completes School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Cooperstown Central School District, Long Lake Central School District and Moriah Central School District.

“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.”

Cooperstown Central School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Otsego County)
Auditors found that the business manager did not properly segregate duties over payroll, cash receipts and disbursements. For example, the payroll clerk had complete control over the payroll process. The audit also found background checks for independent contractors were not always completed. Lastly, auditors found weaknesses in internal controls increased the risk that the district could improperly enroll non-employees (independent contractors) in the New York State and Local Retirement System.

Long Lake Central School District – Internal Controls Over Information Technology (Hamilton County)
Auditors found that the district did not have adequate policies and procedures for acceptable use of information technology, passwords, system monitoring, data back-up and disaster recovery. The audit also noted weaknesses in the design of internal controls over the financial software.

Moriah Central School District – Financial Condition and Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Essex County)
District management did not provide the board with budgetary status reports. As a result, board members were not properly informed in a timely manner as to whether district appropriations were significantly overexpended or whether revenues were significantly overestimated. The district reported a significant decrease in both the general and cafeteria fund balances in four of the last five years and increased its reliance on revenue anticipation notes (RANs) each year. The amount of RANs issued increased from $500,000 during the 2001-02 school year to $1.5 million (12 percent of the total district budget) in the 2007-08 school year with no provision for their repayment within the annual operating budget. In addition, the board did not adequately safeguard the district’s computerized data and assets. Finally, the audit identified several weaknesses in the district’s processing and reporting to the Retirement System.

Click on the above links to view the audits.

If you have any questions or would like a comment from the Comptroller’s office regarding any of the audits above, please call the Press Office at 518-474-4015.


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