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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller

Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases School District Audits


April 1, 2019

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

Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District – Financial Condition Management (Oswego County) 
A previous audit found that the district accumulated excessive unrestricted fund balance in the general fund. The audit recommended that the board develop a plan to reduce fund balance by financing one-time expenditures, funding reserves, reducing district property taxes or paying off debt. In a follow up audit, the board used excess fund balance to finance one-time expenditures.

Averill Park Central School District – Payroll (Rensselaer County)
District officials accurately paid salaries and wages according to their payroll process. However, when the superintendent signs the certification form he does not date the signature; thus there is no way to determine whether the certification was completed prior to the treasurer distributing paychecks and processing direct deposits for employees’ pay.

Buffalo United Charter School – Financial Management (Erie County)
The school’s previous board entered into an agreement with National Heritage Academies, Inc. (NHA) that assigned it nearly all revenue the school receives. The initial agreement began in 2003 and was subsequently updated by a revised agreement approved by a previous board in 2011. NHA is responsible for the general management and control of the school’s finances. NHA has not fully disclosed detailed internal cost information and how operating costs are allocated to the school. As a result, the board has limited ability to verify that the charges and reporting are accurate and appropriate.

Cayuga-Onondaga Board of Cooperative Educational Services – Procurement of Professional Services (2018M-270)
Although the board has adopted a procurement policy, the policy does not require soliciting competition, such as written proposals or quotations, when procuring professional services. In addition, officials have not developed formal procedures for seeking competition when procuring professional services, including what documentation should be maintained to support decisions. As a result, employees did not always use competition when procuring professional services or document sufficient evidence to demonstrate whether the vendor selected was a prudent and economical use of public funds.

Floral Park-Bellerose Union Free School District – Leave Records (Nassau County)
Although leave accrual balances were accurate, the employees had sufficient leave accrual balances and timesheets were approved by the respective department head, leave hours used were not pre-approved. Auditors examined attendance and accrual records for 41 of 284 employees entitled to leave benefits, and found that leave taken was not always pre-approved.

Greater Johnstown School District – Payroll (Fulton County)
District officials ensured employees were accurately paid their approved salaries and wages. Auditors reviewed all payroll records for 35 employees who were paid approximately $1.7 million during the audit period. District officials effectively designed and implemented procedures to ensure that compensation payments were accurate and properly authorized. There were no recommendations as a result of this audit.

Holley Central School District – Procurement (Orleans County)
Although the board adopted a procurement policy in 2015, it did not ensure that the policy and related written procedures adequately address the procurement of goods and services below the competitive bidding thresholds. The policy also does not address how professional services would be procured. District officials provided written procedures that require price comparisons for purchases exceeding $100 and written quotes for purchases exceeding $1,000, but the purchasing agent told us that officials no longer follow these requirements because they believe the procedures are outdated.

Madrid-Waddington Central School District – Claims Audit Process (St. Lawrence County)
The district needs to improve its claims audit process to help ensure all claims are properly audited and approved before payment. The board appointed a claims auditor to assume its powers and duties to examine and approve or disapprove claims. However, health insurance claims and Medicare reimbursement payments to retirees do not go through the claims audit process.

Northville Central School District – Extra-Classroom Activity (ECA) Collections (Hamilton County)
The district has 19 active ECA clubs. Auditors reviewed the collection records and fundraising activities of 10 clubs (53 percent) and traced all 67 deposits totaling $52,404 from July 1, 2017 through April 30, 2018 to the treasurers’ records. While each activity had a properly authorized activity application, deposit breakdowns and completed profit/loss statements, 24 deposits (36 percent) totaling $40,515 lacked adequate supporting documentation. Sixteen deposits totaling $23,737 had no collection documentation and eight deposits totaling $16,778 had inadequate or incomplete documentation.

Union Endicott Central School District – Noninstructional Overtime (Broome County)
Our review of records for 15 non-instructional employees paid overtime totaling $54,041 during the audit period disclosed that district officials often did not document that prior approval was granted for overtime worked and that start and end times were documented on the time sheets in accordance with the overtime policy. In addition, the superintendent told auditors that she permitted two noninstructional employees to earn overtime while they worked from home. However, this is neither specifically authorized nor prohibited by board policy or in the employees’ memorandum of understanding (MOU) with district officials. Although there was no documentation that these employees received prior approval for overtime worked, they were paid for 392 hours of overtime totaling $8,513 while working at home.

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