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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Audits of School Districts posted during the week ending October 15, 2016


Audits of School Districts posted during the week ending October 15, 2016
Source: Office of the State Comptroller

[Internet links highlighted in color]


Bradford Central School District – Financial Management (2016M-253)

Purpose of Audit
The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the District's financial management for the period July 1, 2012 through April 15, 2016.

Background

The Bradford Central School District is located in the Towns of Bath, Bradford, Urbana and Wayne in Steuben County and the Towns of Orange and Tyrone in Schuyler County. The District, which operates one school with approximately 275 students, is governed by an elected five-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $8.8 million.

Key Findings

The Board and District officials have not adopted realistic budgets or effectively managed fund balance and, despite the significant amount of accumulated fund balance, continued to raise the tax levy by an average of 2 percent each year or a total of $350,000 over the last three years.

When unused appropriated fund balance is added back, unrestricted fund balance exceeded the statutory limit by amounts ranging from $1.4 million to $1.9 million or 12.8 to 17.5 percentage points.

Key Recommendations

Ensure budgets include realistic appropriations based on actual needs and planned use of fund balance to avoid levying taxes at a level greater than needed.

Ensure that unrestricted fund balance is in compliance with the statutory limit and develop a plan to use excess fund balance in a manner that benefits District residents.
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Corning City School District – Procurement (2016M-222)

Purpose of Audit
The purpose of our audit was to review the District's procurement practices for the period July 1, 2014 through April 26, 2016.

Background

The Corning City School District is located in the Towns of Big Flats and Catlin in Chemung County; the Towns of Dix and Orange in Schuyler County; and the City of Corning and the Towns of Bradford, Campbell, Caton, Corning, Erwin, Hornby and Lindley in Steuben County. The District, which operates eight schools with approximately 4,800 students, is governed by an elected nine-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $102.5 million.

Key Findings

The District's procurement policy does not include procedures for the procurement of professional services.

District officials did not always solicit competition through requests for proposals or obtain or retain quotes or bids.

Key Recommendations

Revise the procurement policy to include clear language addressing the procurement of professional services and require strict adherence to the requirements of the procurement policy.

Solicit competition for professional service contracts and ensure that written or verbal quotes are obtained for purchases that are under bidding thresholds.
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East Moriches Union Free School District – Claims Processing (2016M-273)

Purpose of Audit
The purpose of our audit was to examine claims processing for the period July 1, 2014 through May 31, 2016.

Background

The East Moriches Union Free School District is located in the Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County. The District, which operates two schools with approximately 730 students, is governed by an elected five-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $25.8 million.

Key Findings

The claims auditor did not properly identify and report all confirming purchase orders to the Board.

The Treasurer did not supervise an account clerk typist's use of her electronic signature to sign the District’s checks.

Key Recommendations

Properly identify and report to the Board all instances of confirming purchase orders.

Discontinue the practice of allowing the Treasurer's electronic signature to be affixed to checks without direct authorization or supervision.
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Merrick Union Free School District – Financial Condition (2016M-240)

Purpose of Audit
The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the District's financial operations and use of fund balance for the period July 1, 2014 through December 31, 2015.

Background

The Merrick Union Free School District is located in the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County. The District, which operates three schools with approximately 1,480 students, is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $46.9 million.

Key Findings

The Board adopted budgets that overestimated expenditures by a total of $9.3 million and underestimated revenues by a total of $2.8 million from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2015.

The District's unrestricted fund balance exceeded the statutory maximum for each of the three years reviewed.

Fund balance appropriated by the Board was not used.

The district did not use its reserve funds during the audit period but instead used operating funds to pay for related costs.

Key Recommendations

Adopt budgets that realistically reflect the District’s operating needs based on historical trends or other identified analysis.

Develop a written plan to reduce the level of unrestricted fund balance to legal limits and consider revising the District’s fund balance policy to require compliance.

Discontinue the practice of appropriating unexpended surplus funds that are not needed and not used to fund District operations.

Ensure that reserve funds are used for their intended purpose.
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Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:
Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability 110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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