Written by Denise Nash Friday, 22 January 2010 00:00The first 15 school district follow-up reviews conducted across the state found the districts, including Jericho School District, collectively implemented 82 percent of the recommendations the State Comptroller's office included in its audits of the districts, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
The school districts were previously audited by DiNapoli's office and auditors went back to the districts to see if they implemented state auditors' recommendations to better protect taxpayer dollars and assets.
"My office has completed audits of virtually all school districts and BOCES across the state," DiNapoli said. "Taxpayers have a right to know if their local school districts took action to address concerns identified by our audits so we are revisiting some of these districts. My office's first 15 follow-up reviews found school districts are taking the audits' recommendations for fiscal prudence seriously and have implemented the majority of the audits' recommended steps to better protect taxpayer dollars. Following up on these audits increases accountability of school districts and adds transparency to school districts' finances."
DiNapoli's auditors found five school districts implemented all of the recommendations in the audits of the districts. These districts are Jericho, Brockport, Hauppaugue, Margaretville and Sewanhaka. An additional five districts fully implemented or partially implemented more than 80 percent of the audits' recommendations. DiNapoli's office has 22 additional follow-up reviews of school districts currently under way.
In a letter from Steven Hancox, Deputy Comptroller of the division of local government and school accountability, to Jericho's School Superintendent Hank Grishman and members of Jericho's Board of Education, he listed the recommendations made by Comptroller DiNapoli's office and updated the status of the corrective action by the school.
The original audit was dated August 2007 and the school was revisited on June 29, 2009 to review their progress in implementing the recommendations. "It appears that the school district has made considerable progress in implementing our recommendations," Hancox wrote in the letter. "Of the 12 audit recommendations, 10 recommendations were fully implemented and two recommendations were partially implemented."
The 10 recommendations that were fully implemented include segregation of duties in the treasure's office, bank account reconciliations, inclusion of all district bank accounts in accounting records, budgetary transfers, board approval for personal property lease, board approval of fringe benefits, meals and refreshment policy, itemized receipts for meals and refreshments, audit of claims and credit card claims.
The two recommendations that the follow-up reports lists as "partially implemented" are purchasing policy and fuel pump policies and procedures.
"We are pleased that the comptroller's office gave us such a favorable review in our follow-up audit," said Hank Grishman. "We took the 2007 comptroller's audit recommendations seriously and immediately went to work to implement recommended steps to better protect taxpayer dollars."To see a full copy of the audit, click here.
To see a full copy of Hancox's letter, click here.