Audit finds Gloversville school district failed to check spending

Thursday, September 26, 2013
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— The Gloversville Enlarged School District is being criticized for failing to check spending under a process established eight years ago by the Board of Education.

The lack of a claims auditor, the failure to request an audit report over the past two years and lax oversight of information technology are among shortcomings identified in an audit released Thursday by the state Comptroller’s Office.

Audit committees are required by law as a way of reviewing spending to make sure risks to district funding are minimized, according to the audit.

All spending is supposed to be reviewed, but auditors reviewing 50 expenditures amounting to more than $967,000 found none were checked out.

One claim totaling $48,998 — the cost of a truck — did not include documentation showing the purchase was submitted for bids, according to the audit.

Five claims totaling $3,317 were credit card charges taken directly out of the district’s bank account, a process the Comptroller’s Office suggests is risky.

“As a result, there is an increased risk that goods and services will not be purchased in a beneficial manner and that unauthorized or improper transactions could occur,” the audit states.

Each year, school district audit committees, which can consist of the entire board or a sub-committee of the board, are supposed to report on their meetings and summarize activities including “any indications of suspected fraud, waste or abuse.”

The district does have its books audited through an independent service, according to the report, but a review of Board of Education meeting minutes didn’t show any attention paid to the results of these audits, such as corrective action plans or risk assessments, according to the audit.

“Without an active audit committee and a written record of its activity, the board is not providing adequate oversight, and taxpayers do not have adequate assurance that risk is being effectively monitored or that the external auditor’s recommendations are, in fact, implemented,” the report states.

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