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Over the past several years, the Port Washington School District has further tightened its already strong internal safeguards regarding financial oversight, according to Dr. Geoffrey N. Gordon, superintendent of schools.

"We already have substantial internal controls and safeguards in place to effectively monitor district spending," Dr. Gordon said. "Port Washington is not-and has never been-reliant on an external auditor only for financial oversight.

Additionally, an internal auditor-responsible for formally examining, allowing or rejecting all accounts, charges, claims or demands against the school district-performs a weekly audit and is on direct report to the board of education.

However, Dr. Gordon added that the board has been proactive in protecting the taxpayers of Port Washington by looking at other audit firms. "Following comprehensive discussions regarding the district's current external auditor, Miller, Lilly and Pearce, the Port Washington Board of Education had decided to solicit proposals from other audit firms." In fact, the contractual agreement with Miller, Lilly & Pearce, expired on June 30, 2004 and Assistant Superintendent Mary Callahan issued Request for Proposals for outside auditing firms in November 2004.

The last audit conducted by Miller, Lilly & Pearce was concluded June 30, 2004 in accordance with the agreement.

Moving forward, Dr. Gordon says that the district should consider changing external audit firms every five years, as per Comptroller Hevesi's recommendation. The board of education and Port Washington School District has been and will continue to be ahead of the curve in protecting our taxpayers.


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