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


Comptroller DiNapoli Releases School District Audits

March 26, 2020

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

Brewster Central School District – Professional Services (Putnam County)

District officials did not seek competition for professional services from three of the 10 professional service providers reviewed. Auditors determined these providers were paid $696,291 during the audit period.

Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School – Procurement (Erie County)

Auditors determined the school’s procurement policy is not comprehensive. The board did not properly approve 18 contracts with cumulative payments totaling $1.3 million, as required by the school’s policy. In addition, school officials made 26 purchases totaling $289,500 without using quotes, as recommended by the school’s procurement procedures.

Edmeston Central School District – Fund Balance (Otsego County and Madison County)

The board appropriated approximately $929,100 in fund balance from 2016-17 through 2018-19 and did not use any of that amount to fund operations because of generated operating surpluses. As of June 30, 2019, surplus fund balance totaled approximately $972,000, exceeding the statutory limit by approximately $535,000, or 5 percent. In addition, auditors determined that when unused appropriated fund balance was added back to the surplus fund balance, it totaled over $1.1 million, exceeding the statutory limit by approximately $680,500, or 6 percent.

Pulaski Academy and Central School District – Separation Payments (Oswego County)

Auditors found that district officials need to improve the separation payment procedures. Auditors found officials paid five former administrators a total of $24,989 for accrued unused vacation leave upon separation from the district based on past practice, even though their individual employment agreements did not provide for such payments. In addition, auditors found that officials did not realize the former superintendent was to reimburse the district $2,813 for previously received tuition assistance upon his separation from the district.

Rockland County Community College – Employee Benefits

The college overpaid $4.6 million to the county for health insurance in fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Of the 20 employees paid health insurance buyouts totaling $81,189, auditors determined that 16 were inaccurate, for a net underpayment of $7,397.

Sherrill City School District – Future Farmers of America Extra-Classroom Activity Fund (Oneida County and Madison County)

Auditors determined that officials need to improve internal controls over Future Farmers of America (FFA) cash receipts and disbursements. District officials did not perform an annual audit of FFA records during the audit period. In addition, collections did not include adequate supporting documentation for 41 deposits totaling $264,624. Auditors also found that there was no supporting documentation for 15 out of 78 check disbursements tested totaling $5,871. FFA advisors used debit cards to make purchases totaling $74,893 without the required prior approval.

Sidney Central School District – Financial Management (Delaware County, Chenango County and Otsego County)

Auditors determined that as of June 30, 2019, the unemployment insurance reserve and tax certiorari reserve balances of $381,484 and $563,862, respectively, were excessive. Also, the district’s reported fund balances exceeded its statutory limit in all three fiscal years. After adding back unused appropriated fund balances each year and the excessive tax certiorari reserve balance as of June 30, 2019, the district’s recalculated surplus fund balance exceeded the statutory limit each of the last three fiscal years, ranging from 4.7 percentage points to 8.9 percentage points over the limit. Auditors also determined that the board and district officials did not develop multiyear financial plans or establish targeted funding levels for reserves.

Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central School District – Claims Audit Process (Greene County)

Auditors determined that the board, district officials and the claims auditor could improve the audit of claims. Of the 50 claims totaling $528,778 auditors reviewed, they found lack of itemized receipts or invoices and no evidence of bids or quotes. In addition, the claims auditor did not have well-defined duties and did not report claims audit results directly to the board.

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