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October 4, 2011

DiNapoli's Office Completes School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the audits of the Center Moriches Union Free School District and the Dover Union Free 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.”

Center Moriches Union Free School District - Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Activities (Suffolk County)
During the 2009-10 fiscal year, the district's purchasing agent routinely approved purchases without available appropriations, and the superintendent did not make budget transfers throughout the year or submit them to the board for approval. Instead, district officials waited until June 30, 2010 to make $3.1 million in budget transfers; these transfers included correcting 75 budget line items that had been over-expended by a total of $2.6 million. While the board received monthly budget status reports, they did not address negative balances in budget line items. In addition, the purchasing agent did not ensure that the district solicited price quotes for four of the 10 purchases, as required by the board-adopted policy and procedures. Finally, the district does not have comprehensive IT policies and written procedures in place.

Dover Union Free School District - Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (Dutchess County)
District officials prepared and presented general fund budgets that consistently overestimated appropriations. For the three-year period district officials overestimated appropriations by a total of $4.86 million. These budgets resulted in operating surpluses of more than $1.1 million in 2008-09 and 2009-10. To manage general fund balance levels, officials appropriated fund balance, made transfers of surplus moneys to various reserves, and accumulated other moneys in a Debt Service Reserve. By appropriating fund balance as a financing source and transferring moneys to reserves outside the budget process, district officials were able to keep fund balance within the legal limit. In addition, the district has weaknesses in internal controls over daily cafeteria register receipts, prepaid moneys, and vending machine receipts. District officials also need to improve internal controls to effectively safeguard the district's computer system and data.


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