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October 22, 2008

 

DiNapoli's Office Completes School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Highland Central School District and Honeyoye Falls-Lima Central School District. DiNapoli also released an audit on Computer Power Savings that examined the North Syracuse Central School District, Newburgh Enlarged City School District, Schenectady City School District, Williamsville Central School District, Mount Vernon City School District, Broome County and Greene County.

“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.”

Computer Power Save (Onondaga, Orange, Schenectady, Erie, Westchester, Broome and Greene counties)
There are 736 schools across New York State, which in 2004 had about 840,000 computers. The five school districts included in our audit had 15,679 computers. Auditors found these districts could save about $212,300 annually ($13.54 per computer) by enabling power save settings and shutting down during periods of inactivity. If similar conditions exist in school districts statewide, districts could collectively save more than $11.3 million annually and reduce annual energy consumption by more than 84 million kWh and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 69.7 million pounds, which is equivalent to removing 5,790 cars from the road. Click here to view individuals letters to each entity.

Highland Central School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Ulster County)
District officials did not establish comprehensive payroll policies and procedures over the payroll process, including the segregation of duties and controls over the payroll, timesheet approvals, separation payments, and longevity awards. Auditors testing of the final pay calculations for 31 former district employees found that, due to these control weaknesses, four of the employees were overpaid a total of $9,572 for unused leave. District officials also did not establish adequate internal controls over purchasing, claims processing and information technology. Finally, the board did not fully comply with the law and the regulations of the New York State Education Department requiring training for board members on their financial oversight responsibilities.

Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Monroe, Livingston and Ontario counties)
Auditors found the district did not adequately segregate the treasurer’s duties or implement other effective compensating controls. Specifically, the treasurer was responsible for preparing bank deposits, recording receipts, making wire transfers, signing checks, preparing journal entries, and performing bank reconciliations. These duties are incompatible when performed by one individual because they would allow the treasurer to initiate, authorize and then conceal inappropriate transactions. In addition, district officials did not establish adequate internal control policies and procedures to monitor computer activity and safeguard the district’s financial computer data and systems.

Click here to view the audits above.

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


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