New York State Comptroller Thomas F. Dinapoli, announced today the following reviews of the School District:
George Jr. Free Union District – Site Transparency (Tompkins County)
Although school district officials run a website, some financial information was not published or was not comprehensive, resulting in a lack of transparency. Officials did not publish external audit reports, original and final annual budgets, or minutes of board meetings as required.
Hancock Central School District – Tuition for Non-Resident Students (Delaware County)
Officials have not set non-resident tuition rates (NRTs) in favor of taxpayers in school districts. The council approved NRT contracts between the county and Wayne Highlands School district without conducting cost-benefit analysis. Over the past three school years, the council has approved Wayne Highlands ‘NRT rates that are lower than the New York State Department of Education’s maximum rates and BOCES’ actual costs total $ 1.29 million, or an average of $ 430,000 per school year.
La Fargeville Central School District – Information Technology (Jefferson County)
District officials have not established proper IT controls over physical IT assets and access to non-student user accounts for the district network. In addition to sensitive vulnerabilities in IT control, auditors found that 235 IT assets costing $ 108,462 were not recorded in the county’s inventory records, and seven computers, two audio systems, one projector and 10 other electronic components costing $ 9,266 could not be found.
Northport – East Northport Union Free School District – Extracurricular Activities Fund (Sapolk County)
Out-of-class activity funds (ECA) were not collected, recorded, sent, deposited, distributed and appropriated. The district did not have proper procedures or a faculty auditor. Collection of $ 5,767 was not recorded in the accounting records and was not deposited with the bank and collections of $ 845,258 lacked key support. Transaction support records were missing $ 134,449 and 95 $ 66,149 payment request forms did not have supporting documents or lacked key information.
Osogo School District – Separation Payments (Osogo County)
District officials did not accurately calculate the severance payments or benefits for five of the 10 employees surveyed. Officials have paid severance pay totaling $ 38,477 that is inconsistent with the language in the CBA or the employees’ employment contract.
Otago-Onadila Central School District – Information Technology (Otsago District)
The council and county officials did not take care to maintain computerized data. In addition to the sensitive weaknesses of IT control, auditors found that the district had 58 redundant user accounts and officials did not provide training for IT security awareness. The board also did not adopt a written contingency plan in the IT field.
Seneca Falls Central School District – Procurement (Seneca County)
County officials did not always use a competitive process to procure goods and services to achieve optimal use of county resources. The auditors examined 40 purchases and found that 21 lacked competition or documentation to support deviation from competition. District officials did not competitively procure or document an exception to solicitation for competition for services rendered by six professional service providers paid a total of $ 895,668. The district also had no written agreements with three professional service providers who paid $ 112,262.
Wilson Central School District – Financial Management (Niagara District)
The board and district officials did not properly manage the fund balance and reserves. As of June 30, 2021, the balance of the recalculated excess fund was $ 3.3 million, exceeding 8 percentage points from the statutory limit of 4%. District officials incorrectly limited more than $ 1.6 million to the debt reserve fund. The balance of employee compensation balances of $ 836,000 can fund the average expenses of employee compensation for 26 years. The balance of unemployment reserves of about $ 400,000 is almost 200 times the average unemployment expenditure. By maintaining surplus funds beyond the statutory limit and maintaining surplus balances, property taxes may have been higher than required.
Wyandanch Union Free School District – Budget Review (Suffolk County)
The auditors found that the revenue and expenditure projections in the proposed budget were reasonable. The county’s proposed budget is in line with the tax levy limit because it includes a $ 23,105,027 tax levy, which is within the limits set by law.
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