New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Cairo-Durham Central School District, Elmwood Village Charter School, Islip Union Free School District, McGraw Central School District, Middletown Enlarged City School District and Mount Vernon City School District.
"In an era of limited resources and increased accountability, it's critical that schools make every dollar count," DiNapoli said. "By auditing school district and charter school finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively."
The district has computer/Internet use policies, but they have not been revised for changes in technology since December 2006. The board has also not adopted policies and procedures for personal, private and sensitive information data classification, wireless security, managing mobile computing and storage devices, and cybersecurity training.
The building selected by the board appears to meet all of the needs identified on the school's facilities requirements checklist. However, a sufficient cost-benefit analysis of this or other buildings was not completed. As a result, the board paid more for the building than the appraised value.
District officials established a well-designed system for processing payroll to ensure that employees are accurately paid the salaries and wages to which they are entitled.
District officials appropriated, on average, $638,300 of unrestricted fund balance as a financing source each year for the 2014-15 through 2016-17 budgets. Because the district generated surpluses each year, the amounts appropriated were not needed to finance operations and, as a result, the unrestricted fund balance exceeded the statutory limit each year during the period. In addition, the district's reserve funds were not used as intended and could be overfunded by $1.8 million as of June 30, 2017.
Auditors compared budgeted appropriations to actual expenditures for 2012-13 through 2016-17 and found that district officials overestimated appropriations by over $43 million. Because appropriated fund balance was not used to fund operations during this period, the district's unrestricted fund balance exceeded the statutory limit by about $11.5 million in 2012-13, $10.6 million in 2013-14, $6.9 million in 2014- 15, $12.1 million in 2015-16 and $20.6 million in 2016-17. In addition, six of the district's eight reserve funds were overfunded by a total of $5.3 million to $10.5 million during the five-year period.
District officials did not seek competition or properly administer or award competitive bids for purchases totaling $13 million. The district also did not seek competition for eight professional services providers paid approximately $1.4 million. Furthermore, an unauthorized employee was allowed to override the approval process for 31 purchases totaling $913,856. The district allowed improper access to its accounting software and vendor files were inaccurate.
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