New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Brighter Choice Charter School for Boys, Central Islip Union Free School District, Fort Ann Central School District, Northeast Central School District and the Romulus 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."
School officials effectively designed and implemented procedures to ensure that compensation payments were accurate and properly authorized. Officials established and adhered to an effective payroll process that decreases the risk that errors or irregularities in processing and paying payroll could occur.
The district's claims auditor approved $114,333 of claims without documentation to support that the prices charged were accurate. Without adequate documentation such as quotes, bids or contracts, the auditor has no assurance that the district is being billed correctly.
District officials need to improve budgeting practices to more effectively manage the general fund balance. The district has accumulated unrestricted fund balance of more than $1.8 million as of June 30, 2017, or 15.25 percent of the 2017-18 budgeted appropriations, exceeding the statutory limit.
District officials ensured the accuracy of compensation and benefits provided to employees. Auditors found the salaries and wages paid and benefits provided to employees agreed with collective bargaining agreement stipulations and board-approved contracts.
Romulus Central School District – Financial Condition Management and State Transportation Aid (Seneca County)
The board-adopted budgets for the 2014-15 through 2016-17 fiscal years overestimated appropriations by an average of nine percent and generated almost $3.7 million in surpluses during the period. To reduce the unrestricted fund balance to within the statutory limit, officials transferred more than $3.5 million to the capital building reserve and $200,000 to the capital bus reserve over this same period. As a result, reserve fund transactions were not transparent to the public, because each year the funding transfers were not included in the adopted budgets but instead transferred at year-end.
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