New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following school district audits have been issued.
At the time of initial visits to nine district buildings, auditors were unable to locate 146 of 475 IT assets tested (31 percent). It took between 11 and 55 days from the initial visits for officials to locate 80 additional IT assets. Because of inaccurate inventory records, district officials were unable to locate the remaining 66 IT assets (14 percent).
The board overestimated appropriations from 2016-17 through 2018-19, resulting in over $5 million in appropriated fund balance not being used to finance operations. After adding back unused appropriated fund balances each year, the district’s recalculated surplus fund balance exceeded the statutory 4 percent limit each of the last three fiscal years ranging from 12.1 percent to 16.7 percent.
Auditors commend the superintendent and board for the actions they have taken to improve the accuracy of budget projections in the 2020-21 budget and restore the district’s overall financial condition, especially in light of the challenges caused by unexpected revenue reductions due to the economic fallout resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Auditors found revenue projections to be substantially accurate. However, appropriations for charter school tuition are underbudgeted by approximately $1.5 million, and salary and substitute costs will have to be closely monitored. Additionally, the budget remains structurally imbalanced because district officials are relying on the city council to approve a waiver to the city charter for the use of $10 million for operation expenditures rather than capital purposes. Therefore, absent recurring additional revenue, appropriation reductions will be necessary for future budgets to be structurally balanced.
A former employee’s user account was used to process 510 financial transactions after her resignation. In addition, school officials did not adopt IT policies or a disaster recovery plan. IT users were not provided with IT security awareness training.