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DiNapoli Reviews Audits of 34 School Districts

Sewanhaka Among School Districts 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 Sewanhaka Central High School District is on the list, and is one of 11 schools from Long Island.

The original audit report of the Sewanhaka Central High School District was released in 2007 and found that the district awarded $1.8 million in professional service contracts without competition and lacked a computer security policy.

Auditors from the comptroller’s office were recently at the Sewanhaka Central High School District to follow up on its previous audit.

“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.”

Superintendent of Schools for the Sewanhaka Central High School District Warren Meierdiercks said auditors were recently at the district. “It’s our hope that they found everything in order,” he said. “They said they were following up on everything that was included in that first audit. I believe that we’ve addressed everything in the initial comptroller’s audit.”

Each school district was required to submit corrective action plans to DiNapoli’s office within 90 days of an audit’s release that details how the district would 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.

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.