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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015


State Comptroller DiNapoli Releases School District Audits

August 27, 2021

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following school district audits were issued.

Cornwall Central School District – Information Technology (Orange County)

District officials did not establish adequate internal controls to safeguard the district’s user accounts. Specifically, network user accounts were not adequately managed. Officials did not monitor compliance with the district’s acceptable use policy. The board also did not adopt adequate information technology (IT) policies or a disaster recovery plan. Sensitive IT control weaknesses, including issues related to software updates, were communicated confidentially to officials.

Edwards-Knox Central School District – Medicaid Reimbursements (St. Lawrence County)

The district did not claim any Medicaid reimbursements to which it was entitled. District officials did not claim Medicaid reimbursements for 12 students that auditors identified were likely Medicaid-eligible who received speech, occupational or physical therapy services during 2019-20. Had these services been claimed, the district could have realized revenue totaling about $25,000. District officials also believed it was not cost-effective to file Medicaid claims but could not support their assertions because the district did not prepare a recent cost benefit analysis to support it is not cost-effective. In addition, district officials did not establish Medicaid claim policies or procedures or ensure that sufficient documentation was maintained for the eligible services provided.

Millbrook Central School District – Information Technology – User Accounts (Dutchess County)

Officials did not establish adequate controls over the district’s user accounts to prevent unauthorized use, access and loss. Officials also did not periodically review and disable unneeded network user accounts.

The audit found 46 unenrolled students had active network user accounts and 13 former employees who left between 2013 and 2020 also had active network user accounts. In addition, auditors found nine generic accounts last used between 2015 and 2018. Officials also did not develop a breach notification policy, as required by New York State Technology Law. Sensitive information technology (IT) control weaknesses were communicated confidentially to officials.

Ripley Central School District – Financial Management (Chautauqua County)

The board and district officials did not properly manage fund balance in accordance with statute. The board and district officials overestimated budgetary appropriations and appropriated fund balance, resulting in surplus fund balance exceeding the 4% statutory limit by approximately $1.4 million, or 15 percentage points. The board and district officials also did not develop and adopt a comprehensive written multiyear financial plan and did not adhere to the fund balance policy.

Ripley Central School District – Payroll and Leave Accruals (Chautauqua County)

While the district’s payroll payments were paid at accurate rates, payroll payments were not always properly supported and approved and leave time accruals were not always accurate. Further, district officials did not properly monitor the payroll and leave accrual process and they have not developed any payroll policies or procedures. Auditors reviewed 41 timecards and found that while not required by the district, more than 70% of the timecards (30 of 41) were not signed by a supervisor and none were signed by the employee. More than 60% of the timecards (25 of 41) were incomplete as a result of missed punches totaling approximately 250 hours or $4,400. Timecard adjustments totaling $3,130 were not properly reviewed or approved, as required. In addition, the payroll clerk did not deduct a total of 13 days of approved leave time, valued at $2,100, from two employees’ leave accrual records.

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