New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following school district audits were issued.
District officials did not appropriately approve and document overtime for non-instructional employees. As a result, there is an increased risk that overtime costs totaling $774,499 were more than necessary. Auditors found the Board of Education did not adopt written policies to ensure that all overtime hours worked were pre-approved, adequately recorded and incurred only when necessary. Non-emergency overtime was also not generally preapproved in writing. In addition, officials did not maintain documentation to justify compensatory time earned.
Officials did not establish adequate controls over network and financial application user accounts to prevent unauthorized use, access and/or loss. In addition to sensitive information technology (IT) control weaknesses which auditors from the Comptroller’s Office communicated confidentially to officials, auditors found officials did not adequately manage network user accounts as 84 former employees/vendors had active user accounts. Auditors also found 35 generic user accounts that had never been used and were unnecessary. In addition, officials did not ensure district procedures were followed to communicate financial application user account changes to the vendor.
The district did not maximize Medicaid reimbursements by submitting claims for all eligible Medicaid services provided. Claims were not submitted and reimbursed for 382 eligible Medicaid services provided. Had these services been claimed, the district could have realized revenues totaling $6,375. The district also lacked adequate procedures to ensure Medicaid claims were submitted and reimbursed. Service providers did not document all service encounters in the Medicaid billing system.
Spencer-Van Etten Central School District – Information Technology (Chemung County, Schuyler County, Tioga County and Tompkins County)
District officials have generally taken adequate steps towards helping to ensure computerized data was safeguarded through managing user accounts, providing adequate training and adopting and distributing a written information technology (IT) contingency plan. However, certain sensitive IT control weaknesses and audit recommendations were communicated confidentially to officials. District officials agreed with the audit results.
District officials did not provide appropriate oversight over financial operations. District officials did not properly assign administrative and user access rights to the financial software. Officials also did not establish an electronic banking policy or adequate bank transfers or electronic payment procedures nor did they segregate the treasurer’s duties or provide adequate oversight. In addition, district officials did not present all claims to the claims auditor for review and approval prior to payment. At least $37.9 million in claims were not reviewed or approved, as required, prior to payment. Officials did not ensure $43 million in claims are processed through the normal accounts payable process. The treasurer controlled most aspects of these transactions rather than the accounts payable department. Therefore, there was no segregation of duties.
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