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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Niagara Wheatfield Central School District - Niagara Power Coalition and Native American Revenues (2019M-227)

Released: February 21, 2020 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether District officials properly managed and accounted for Niagara Power Coalition and Native American revenues.

Key Findings

  • District officials did not properly account for Niagara Power Coalition revenues; $4.2 million was maintained in the debt service fund although the funds had not been designated to pay debt.
  • District officials improperly restricted funds in a debt reserve.
  • District officials maintained a capital reserve that was not properly approved.

Key Recommendations

  • Account for Niagara Power Coalition revenues in a special revenue fund.
  • Investigate the source of funds in the debt reserve and, if appropriate, transfer these funds to a special revenue fund.
  • Consult with legal counsel on the appropriate action regarding the future use of the capital reserve.

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

Background

The Niagara Wheatfield Central School District (District) serves the Towns of Niagara, Wheatfield, Lewiston and Cambria in Niagara County (County). The District is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education (Board). The Board is responsible for the management and control of financial and educational affairs.

The Superintendent of Schools is responsible, along with other administrative staff, for managing day-to-day operations under the Board’s direction. The District’s Business Administrator oversees the business office and maintains financial records, and is the District’s representative on the Niagara Power Coalition and Host Community Standing Committee.

Quick Facts
2018-19 Appropriations$73.5 million
2018-19 Enrollment3,500
2017-18 Native American Revenues$5.8 million
2017-18 Niagara Power Coalition Revenue$960,000

Audit Period

July 1, 2015 – September 18, 2019


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