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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Orchard Park Central School District - Financial Management and Payroll (2018M-89)

Released: August 17, 2018 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine if the Board and District officials properly managed District finances by ensuring budget estimates, unrestricted fund balance and reserve fund balances were reasonable and the District accurately compensated employees.

Key Findings

  • The Board underestimated revenues, overestimated appropriations and appropriated fund balance that was not used. Also, the balances in three reserves were excessive.
  • Despite budgetary surpluses and excess fund balance, the Board increased the tax levy by a total of $4.4 million from 2014-15 to 2017-18.
  • Three teachers were paid stipends at rates not established by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), employment contract or Board resolution and one teacher reviewed and approved her own time sheets.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop and adopt budgets that include realistic estimates for revenues, appropriations and fund balance that will be used to fund operations.
  • Adopt a more comprehensive reserve policy and review reserve fund balances to determine whether the amounts are necessary and reasonable.
  • Ensure that all payments, pay rates and stipends are paid at rates established by a CBA, employment contract or Board resolution.

District officials disagreed with certain aspects of our findings and recommendations, but indicated they planned to initiate some corrective action. Appendix B includes our comments on the issues raised in the District’s response letter.

Background

The Orchard Park Central School District (District) serves the Towns of Aurora, Boston, Elma, Hamburg, Orchard Park and West Seneca in Erie County (County).

The District is governed by a seven member Board of Education (Board). The Board has overall responsibility for educational and financial affairs. The Superintendent of Schools (Superintendent), along with other administrative staff, is responsible for day-to-day operations and developing and administering the budget.

The Assistant Superintendent for Business and Support Services (Assistant Superintendent) is responsible for overseeing financial activities. He also supervises two payroll clerks who process biweekly payroll.

Quick Facts
Enrollment5,000
Employees1,200
2017-18 General Fund Appropriations$98.3 million
2017-18 General Fund Salary Appropriations$48.7 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2014 – March, 2018


Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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