Western Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services – Budget Transfers and Confirming Purchase Orders (2016M-218)

Issued Date
September 30, 2016

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review BOCES’ budget transfer and purchase order processes for the period July 1, 2014 through November 30, 2015.


The Western Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) is an association of 18 component school districts. Combined, BOCES and the component districts educate approximately 93,000 students in the western area of Suffolk County. BOCES is governed by a seven-member Board of Education elected by the boards of its component districts. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $160.4 million.

Key Findings

  • Although the Board is required to approve all budget transfers above $25,000, the Chief Financial Officer approved these transfers.
  • BOCES officials are making excessive use of miscellaneous budget codes for expenditures.
  • Of the claims we reviewed, 12 percent were made with confirming purchase orders, and none of these purchases were documented as an emergency situation.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that budget transfers in excess of $25,000 are presented to the Board for approval as required by the budget transfer policy.
  • Only use miscellaneous codes for expenditures that have no other budget code available.
  • Restrict the use of confirming purchase orders to exceptional situations, such as a documented emergency situation.