New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Ballston Spa Central School District, Dover Union Free School District, Mamaroneck Union Free School District, Mattituck-Cutchogue Union Free School District and the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central 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."
District officials established a well-designed system over separation payments that included adequate written procedures covering how payments should be made. Payments were correctly calculated and were supported by collective bargaining agreements and employment contracts. In addition, the board approved retirements and other separations from district employment before any payments were made.
Although the board adopted an acceptable computer use policy and web filters were in place, district officials did not monitor for inappropriate use in accordance with the board policy. Auditors discovered district employees used computers to visit social networking, shopping, travel, entertainment and blogging websites. In addition, the district's computer server is located in a non-secure location, increasing the risk for unauthorized access to the network.
The board and district officials did not adopt and implement procedures governing the operations of extra-classroom activity funds. As a result, the central treasurer and faculty advisors were not provided with guidelines to properly account for and oversee the district's 49 ECA clubs.
The district's controls over claims processing were not always effective. As a result, the purchasing agent approved 12 purchase orders for purchases totaling $61,109 after the goods and services were ordered. By not enforcing compliance with the procurement policy and procedures, there is an increased risk for the possibility of abuse or fraud to take place and additional costs to the district.
The district does not have procedures for independently verifying whether retirees are still living or whether their dependents are still eligible for coverage. Relying on third parties or communications from retirees who are eligible for Medicare reimbursements to notify the district when a retiree dies could result in the district paying unnecessary costs.
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