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September 25, 2007


DiNapoli: Ballston Spa School District Employs
Best Practices in Achieving Fiscal Responsibility

Exemplary Model for Other School Districts to Follow

The Ballston Spa Central School District is financially well managed and its fiscal controls are protecting taxpayer resources, according to an audit released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli at a press conference at the school district. DiNapoli said the district is a model for other districts to follow.

“District officials at Ballston Spa are really getting it right,” DiNapoli said. “The district went above and beyond state requirements and established additional fiscal controls to ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely. Good school districts hit the books in the classroom and keep good books in the office. Ballston Spa does both very well.”

Auditors found the district developed a strong system of internal controls for financial monitoring and implemented internal controls that were above and beyond state mandates. In addition to having the required audit committee, district officials also established a finance committee to oversee its financial operations. This committee provides added protection and oversight to ensure the district is spending its money prudently.

While all districts are required to develop a purchasing policy, the audit found school officials took the extra step of drafting a purchasing manual that details the stages in the purchasing process for employees.

“On behalf of the Ballston Spa School District, we appreciate the findings of the Comptroller’s Office and are very satisfied with the positive results presented in our audit,” said Ballston Spa Central School District Superintendent Dr. Raymond Colucciello. “Our staff works diligently to be prudent stewards of the community’s tax dollars that support our schools. Our Board of Education and administrators, past and present, have focused on following state regulations and mandates which govern our schools.”

Additional best practices the district employs include:

  • developing a long-range financial and capital plan;
  • establishing two levels of oversight for payroll;
  • developing procedures to make sure leave is used and recorded properly; and
  • limiting access in accounting software to only areas required for each person’s specific job duties.

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 240 school audits and approximately 225 audits are currently underway.

Click here for a copy of the audit.

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