Determine whether the Blind Brook-Rye Union Free School District’s (District) Board of Education (Board) and District officials ensured that the required approvals were obtained for capital project (Project) change orders.
The Board and District officials did not ensure that all Project change orders were submitted as required to the New York State Education Department (SED) for approval. As a result, officials created a risk that SED could reduce the District’s building aid reimbursement for all unapproved work. For the 151 change orders reviewed totaling about $3.8 million:
- 122 (81 percent) totaling approximately $2.7 million were not submitted to SED, as required, for the Commissioner of Education’s (Commissioner) approval.
- Six change orders totaling $155,173 were approved by the Commissioner for $74,002.The Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Facilities (Assistant Superintendent) was not aware that they were approved and had no explanation for the difference in the amount received.
- Ensure all change orders are properly approved.
- Actively monitor change orders to ensure the District submits change orders for approval from the Commissioner.
District officials agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to initiate corrective action.