South Lewis Central School District – Conflicts of Interest (2021M-3)

Issued Date
July 30, 2021

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether any South Lewis Central School District (District) officials had prohibited interests in District contracts.

Key Findings

Three Board members had prohibited interests in contracts that the District awarded totaling more than $22 million.

  • Two Board members were employed by corporations that were awarded contracts for the District’s capital project. They both worked on the project as part of their private employment and the District paid $3.2 million on the contracts during our audit period.
  • One Board member co-owns a local hardware store that sold materials and supplies to the District totaling $17,446.
  • Due to deficiencies in the District’s conflict of interest disclosure forms and procedures for consulting with legal counsel when appropriate, the Board members failed to acknowledge they had conflicts of interest, as required.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that District officials and employees follow the legal conflicts of interest requirements.
  • Amend the conflict of interest disclosure form to ensure potential conflict of interests are adequately disclosed and addressed, and consult with legal counsel when appropriate.

District officials agreed with our recommendations and have initiated or indicated they planned to initiate corrective action.