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DiNapoli Reviews Audits of 34 School Districts

Jericho Among Schools to Be Reviewed

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently initiated school audit follow-up reviews of 34 school districts across the state. The school districts were previously audited by DiNapoli’s office and auditors are now checking to see if these districts implemented the recommendations in the initial audits of the districts. The Jericho School District is on the list, and is one of 11 schools from Long Island.

The original audit of the Jericho School District was completed in August of 2007 and examined the internal controls of the Jericho School District over cash receipts and disbursements, administrative expenses, claims processing and vehicle fuel inventories for the period of July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2006.

The original reported found several weaknesses in district controls over cash receipts and disbursements, but found no misuse of funds.

The items that are being reviewed by DiNapoli’s office concerning Jericho are “lack of documentation to support thousands of dollars in credit card purchases; board did not approve car lease for superintendent; weaknesses in handling of cash receipts and disbursements,” according to the report.

“Taxpayers have a right to know if their local school districts took action to address concerns identified by our auditors,” DiNapoli said. “Our audits determine if proper policies and procedures are in place and include recommendations on how school districts can better protect taxpayer dollars. Following up on these audits increases accountability of school districts and adds transparency to the school districts’ finances.”

Each school district is required to submit corrective action plans to DiNapoli’s office within 90 days of an audit’s release that details how the district will address the concerns raised in the audit and implement the audit’s recommendations. Auditors will determine if the districts followed their corrective action plans.

Once auditors conclude their review of each district, the district will receive a letter that details which recommendations the district implemented correctly and which recommendations, if any, the district still needs to work on. These letters will be posted on DiNapoli’s website and will be released to the public.

“The district has put in place the recommendations that were made by the Comptroller’s office from the 2007 audit,” said Jericho Superintendent of Schools Hank Grishman. “We welcome any additional input from the follow-up audit, which was recently completed. Our business office now spends many, many hours and more than $100,000 in additional auditor’s fees to help insure that we are in full compliance with the Comptroller’s regulations.”

DiNapoli’s office initiated school audit follow-up reviews of a cross-section of districts in New York and more follow-up reviews will be scheduled later in the year for other districts.

DiNapoli also announced that his office is on pace to complete audits of all of New York’s school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services by March 2010. The State Comptroller’s office has completed 620 school audits and approximately 113 school audits are currently under way.