New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Caledonia-Mumford Central School District, Genesee Valley Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Heuvelton Central School District, Syracuse City School District and the Your Home Public Library.
State Comptroller DiNapoli has made it a priority to audit school district, BOCES and charter school finances and operations to ensure money is being spent appropriately and effectively. The Comptroller’s audits are designed to help schools improve their financial management practices and ensure proper policies and procedures are in place to protect taxpayer dollars from waste, fraud and abuse. New York’s school districts annually spend approximately $60 billion in federal, state and local funds.
For additional background or a comment on a specific audit, please contact Brian Butry at 518-474-4015 or email: [email protected].
Although the district’s policy indicates that it has a written online banking agreement with its bank, district officials told us they do not have an agreement with the bank. They also did not adequately segregate online banking duties and did not dedicate a separate computer for online transactions to limit access to online bank accounts. Furthermore, both the treasurer and business manager perform online banking transactions, but neither has received Internet security awareness training.
Auditors selected and reviewed 38 paid claims totaling $1.1 million to determine whether BOCES complied with its adopted purchasing policy. BOCES generally procured goods and services in accordance with its purchasing policy. However, the policy does not clearly describe if there are any conditions or circumstances when soliciting proposals or quotes for professional services is required. Furthermore, the bid specifications for equipment costing $170,470 may have been too restrictive to foster competition.
Auditors reviewed payroll payments made to 18 employees with combined total gross pay of $80,888 during May 2016 to determine whether salaries and wages were accurately paid. Except for minor deficiencies, which was discussed with district officials, the district’s procedures for payroll processing (by the payroll clerk) and payroll review and certification (by the superintendent) were adequate to ensure that the employees reviewed were accurately paid at board-authorized rates.
During the audit period, the district made 19,010 claim payments totaling $197 million. Auditors found that district officials established adequate controls to ensure claims are audited in a timely manner, properly authorized and for legitimate purposes. However, in some instances, purchase orders are not issued prior to ordering goods or services.
The board has not effectively managed the library’s financial condition to adequately safeguard the library’s resources. The library experienced increasing operating deficits over the last three completed fiscal years of $41,611 in 2012-13, $87,767 in 2013-14 and $174,485 in 2014-15, which was $87,000 more than library officials planned. This occurred because library officials spent more than budgeted, primarily for building maintenance, health insurance and personal service costs. In addition, the board was not monitoring the library’s financial position and did not address these rising costs.