New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of Byron-Bergen Central School District, Canton Central School District, Edinburg Common School District, Finn Academy, Fort Plain Central School District and the Greenburgh-North Castle Union Free 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 purchasing agent and claims auditor did not always ensure that purchases were made in compliance with district requirements. District officials made 40 purchases totaling approximately $184,000 without always obtaining or documenting price quotes. For nine purchases totaling $37,000, officials said they thought there was only one vendor capable of providing the item or service. However, they did not check whether there were other vendors selling the same products and services.
The claims auditor did not review the supporting documentation for all health insurance claims paid during the audit period totaling over $8.1 million. In addition, auditors reviewed district scholarship awards and found they were approved by the scholarship committee, adequately supported and in compliance with district requirements, except for one payment for $100 that should have been $300.
Due to inaccurate record keeping in the tax collection system and the lack of adequate collection records, the district lacks assurance that all payments and penalties were appropriately enforced, collected, recorded and remitted to the business manager for deposit.
The board has not adopted IT security policies addressing items such as password management, breach notification, protection of sensitive personal information, mobile devices, remote access, online banking and data backups. School officials did not provide IT security awareness training to employees.
Control procedures were followed and claims were found to be adequately documented, for appropriate purposes, and were properly audited and approved prior to payment.
For the 2017-18 fiscal year, the district adopted a budget of $25,970,996 which is consistent with expenditures for the past three years. However, as a special act district with no fund balance to rely on, there is a risk that the decreasing revenue without a corresponding reduction to expenditures may cause the district’s financial condition to deteriorate.
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