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October 6, 2009

DiNapoli’s Office Completes School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Cheektowaga-Maryvale Union Free School District, DeRuyter Central School District, Glen Cove City School District and Lyme 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.”

Cheektowaga-Maryvale UFSD – Internal Controls Over Purchasing (Erie County)
Auditors found the district did not comply with its purchasing policy and statute. While 41 purchases examined required a requisition, none complied with this requirement. Also 35 purchases lacked documentation that the district solicited quotes or bids to comply with its procurement policy and General Municipal Law. These purchases include: security services ($73,000), unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel ($12,211), musical instruments ($16,742), calculators ($26,389) and a pole vault pit ($11,190). The district paid significantly more for certain items than it would have paid if the district had purchased these items through readily available state or BOCES sources or obtained quotes as required. For the six items tested, auditors identified $16,258 in possible savings.

DeRuyter CSD – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Cortland, Madison and Onondaga counties)
The audit found the board and district officials did not establish formal written policies over the treasurer’s duties, bank reconciliations, electronic and wire transfers, journal entries and payroll certification. District officials did not properly segregate duties over cash disbursements and allowed the treasurer to perform several key duties without adequate oversight. Auditors also found $18,700 in payments for additional salaries that were paid without any documentation of board approval.

Glen Cove City SD – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Nassau County)
Auditors found two board members did not obtain the required six-hour training on financial oversight and fiduciary responsibilities. Additionally, a third board member did not obtain the training within the first year of his election. The district reimbursed three employees a total of $12,556 for not participating in the district’s health insurance plan even though district officials did not have board authorization to grant this benefit to the employees. In addition, district officials did not adequately segregate payroll duties. District officials did not obtain the required number of quotes for seven procurements, costing $46,328.

Lyme CSD – Internal Controls Over Cash Receipts and Disbursements (Jefferson County)
Auditors found the board adopted inadequate policies for the treasurer’s duties, signatures on checks and for the treasurer’s bond. The policies did not provide sufficient guidance on internal controls over cash receipts and disbursements for district personnel to follow. In addition, user access rights were not granted based on position and level of responsibilities, and the business manager could transfer funds by phone, wire transfer debt payments by email and phone, and had user access rights changed without the approval of another district official. Finally, special aid and debt service activity were not fully entered into the computerized accounting system in a timely manner, checks totaling $270,250 were not audited by the claims auditor, and payroll payments totaling $73,010 were not certified by the former superintendent.

Click on the link above for a copy of the audit.

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 655 school audits and approximately 75 school audits are currently underway.


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