New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Dunkirk City School District, Fulton City School District, Perry Central School District and the Sachem Central School District.
"In today's fiscal climate, budget transparency and accountability for our local communities is a top priority," said DiNapoli. "By auditing municipal finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively."
From 2013-14 through 2015-16, district officials consistently overestimated appropriations by an average of $3.7 million, or 9 percent, leading to average annual surpluses of $1.2 million. When unused appropriated fund balance was added back, the district's recalculated unrestricted fund balance exceeded the statutory limit by 7 to 9 percentage points.
District officials established effective controls over non-payroll cash disbursements by segregating duties and providing management oversight, so that no individual controls all phases of a transaction. District officials have also adequately segregated wire transfer duties.
For the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 fiscal years, the board overestimated appropriations by $4.4 million. District officials also appropriated $1.5 million of fund balance that was not needed to finance operations. When unused appropriated fund balance is added back, the district's recalculated unrestricted fund balance exceeds the statutory limit.
From 2011-12 through 2014-15, total fund balance decreased by $18.9 million (77 percent), from $24.4 million as of June 30, 2012 to $5.5 million as of June 30, 2015. Although fund balance has since improved, the board should adopt a fund balance policy, adopt and monitor sound budgets and monitor and update its multi-year plan.
For access to state and local government spending, public authority financial data and information on 140,000 state contracts, visit Open Book New York. The easy-to-use website was created to promote transparency in government and provide taxpayers with better access to financial data.