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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Bolivar-Richburg Central School District - Financial Management (2019M-17)

Released: June 7, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Board and District officials properly managed fund balance and reserves.

Key Findings

  • The Board overestimated appropriations by a total of $3.8 million and annually appropriated $500,000 of fund balance that was not used to finance operations during our audit period.
  • As of June 30, 2018, surplus fund balance totaled almost $1.5 million, 7 percent of the 2018-19 budgeted appropriations, exceeding the statutory limit by approximately $626,000.
  • The reserve fund plan is inadequate and certain reserve balances were excessive and not being used.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt budgets that include reasonable estimates for appropriations and the amount of fund balance that will be used to fund operations.
  • Reduce surplus fund balance to comply with the statutory limit and use the excess funds in a manner more beneficial to taxpayers.
  • Adopt a comprehensive written reserve policy, including plans for the use of reserves in accordance with applicable statutes.

District officials generally agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to initiate corrective action. Appendix B includes our comment on an issue raised in the District’s response letter.


The Bolivar-Richburg Central School District (District) serves the Towns of Alma, Bolivar, Clarksville, Cuba, Friendship, Genesee and Wirt in Allegany County.

The seven-member Board of Education (Board) is responsible for managing and controlling the District’s financial and educational affairs. The Superintendent of Schools (Superintendent) is responsible for the District’s day-to-day management. The Board, Superintendent and Business Administrator are responsible for developing the annual budget.

The Business Administrator is also responsible for the administration and supervision of financial activities.

Quick Facts
2018-19 Appropriations$20.9 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2015 – December 7, 2018

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