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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Mount Vernon City School District – Purchasing and Claims Auditing (2017M-198)

Released: February 23, 2018 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether the District purchased goods and services in accordance with District policy and statutory requirements and whether claims were adequately supported and properly audited before payment for the period July 1, 2015 through April 3, 2017.


The Mount Vernon City School District is located in the City of Mount Vernon in Westchester County. The District had approximately 8,100 students during the 2015-16 school year. Budgeted appropriations for the 2017-18 fiscal year total approximately $246 million.

Key Findings

  • District officials did not seek competition or properly administer or award competitive bids for purchases totaling $13 million and did not seek competition for eight professional services providers paid approximately $1.4 million.
  • An unauthorized employee was allowed to override the approval process for 31 purchases totaling $913,856.
  • The District paid 49 claims totaling $1 million without proper documentation, and claims totaling $2.4 million were paid without the claims auditor’s authorization.

Key Recommendations

  • Provide guidance on soliciting competition for goods and services, including the appropriate use of written requests for proposals, written quotes and verbal quotes.
  • Monitor the activity within the computerized software to prevent unauthorized approvals.
  • Ensure that all claims are properly supported by adequate documentation prior to payment approval.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236