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Office of the New York State Comptroller

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

New York City Department of Education
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams Middle School: Management of General School Funds
(Issued 4/19/12)


Purpose
To determine if Dr. Daniel Hale Williams Middle School (Daniel Hale) officials properly managed and administered the school's General School Funds (GSF) account and if funds from that account were properly accounted for and spent for the benefit of students for the period September 1, 2008 through June 30, 2010.

Background
Many public schools in New York City maintain one or more General School Funds (GSF) and related bank accounts. These accounts are used to deposit and account for fees received from students, as well as funds raised by students from bake sales, candy sales, and other fundraising activities. The funds are generally to be used in support of the students and their activities. For the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years, $146,629 in revenue and $154,441 of disbursements flowed through Daniel Hale's GSF account. On June 30, 2010, the balance in the account was $65,173.

Key Findings

  • We identified $8,529 in GSF expenditures used to pay for items that were not related to student activities. Regular tax levy funds should have been used to pay for $7,921 of these expenditures since the costs directly related to general school operations. These costs included curriculum supplies, postage and replacement seats for the cafeteria. The remaining $608 was spent on items that were not directly related to the students, including gift cards, staff food and discount club memberships for the principal and his spouse.
  • Daniel Hale officials also did not report accurate GSF account balances to the Department of Education's Bureau of Financial Management and Reporting Banking Unit, resulting in inaccurate reporting of cash and liabilities in the Department's and the City of New York's financial statements.

Key Recommendations

  • Require the school principal to reimburse the GSF account $190 for discount shopping club memberships from which he derived personal benefits.
  • Reimburse the GSF account $8,339 for all other funds that were disbursed inappropriately.
  • Report reconciled GSF account balances to the Department's Bureau of Financial Management and Reporting Banking Unit.

Link to full audit report (2010-N-9)

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest
New York City Department of Education: John F. Kennedy Education Campus: Management of General School Funds Report 2009-N-11


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: John Buyce
Phone:(518) 474-3271; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236