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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Onondaga Central School District - Financial Condition Management and Fuel Records (2018M-181)

Released: December 7, 2018 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Board and District officials:

  • Effectively managed the District’s financial condition.
  • Ensured that the District’s fuel records were accurate and all fuel was accounted for.

Key Findings

  • The Board has maintained general fund unrestricted fund balance close to the 4 percent statutory limit.
  • Adopted budgets consistently overestimated appropriations due to conservative budget practices. As a result, the District experienced unplanned operating surpluses in two of the three completed fiscal years reviewed.
  • During the past two years, the District’s total fund balance increased by nearly $1.66 million, or 43 percent (from $3.88 million to $5.54 million). The District allocated most of this fund balance increase to its reserve (restricted) funds, which increased by $1.50 million, or 65 percent (from $2.31 million to $3.81 million).
  • Fuel inventory reconciliations were not documented or reviewed.

Key Recommendations

  • Closely monitor unrestricted fund balance and reserves to ensure balances remain reasonable.
  • Adopt annual budgets that contain realistic estimates for appropriations.
  • Ensure fuel inventory reconciliations are properly documented and reviewed.

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


The Onondaga Central School District (District) serves the Towns of Lafayette, Marcellus, Onondaga and Otisco in Onondaga County. The District is governed by the Board of Education (Board), comprised of seven elected members, which is responsible for the general management and control of the District’s financial affairs.

The Superintendent of Schools (Superintendent) is the District’s chief executive officer, responsible for its day-to-day management and for budget development and administration. The Business Administrator is responsible for the District’s business activities.

Quick Facts
2017-18 Budgeted Appropriations$20.9 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2016 – January 31, 2018

We extended our scope period back to July 1, 2014 to review fund balance and budgeting trends, and forward to May 2, 2018 to perform a reconciliation of fuel inventory.

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