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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Utica City School District - Payroll (2018M-175)

Released: January 18, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Board and District officials ensure that compensation payments for employees are accurate, properly approved and supported.

Key Findings

  • We reviewed payroll payments totaling $4.7 million to 151 employees and found almost $418,000 in payments (9 percent) were not accurate, supported or paid in accordance with contracts or Board resolutions. For example, the Board did not authorize salaries paid to six individuals totaling $347,368 and paid $11,690 to an employee who worked offsite without certainty as to the work performed.
  • Manual adjustments for fingerprint time clock system entries were not adequately supported or approved by supervisors.

Key Recommendations

  • Establish procedures to ensure that payroll-related payments are accurate, supported and in accordance with written collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) individual employment contracts or Board resolutions.
  • Ensure all salaries, wages and additional pay items are authorized by the Board before being paid.
  • Ensure manual adjustments for missed punches into the fingerprint time clock system are documented and approved by supervisors.

District officials disputed and disagreed with us in many instances; however, they indicated they had already taken or planned to take corrective action.

Appendix B includes our comments on the issues raised in the District’s response letter.


The Utica City School District (District) serves the City of Utica in Oneida County. The District is governed by the Board of Education (Board) which is composed of seven elected members. The Board is responsible for the general management and control of the District’s financial and educational affairs. The Superintendent of Schools (Superintendent) is the chief executive officer and is responsible, along with other administrative staff, for day to-day District management. The School Business Official oversees the Business Office’s daily financial operations and the Director of Human Resources (HR Director) oversees the human resources (HR) function.

Quick Facts
2017-18 General Fund Budgeted Appropriations$173 million
2016-17 Salaries and Wages$76.7 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2016 – August 4, 2017.
We extended our audit period backward to 2002 and forward to January 2018 to review certain payroll transactions.

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