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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Hornell City School District – Capital Improvement Project Expenditures (2012M-73)

Released: November 2, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the controls over the capital improvement project for the period November 10, 2006, through November 9, 2011.


The Hornell City School District (District) is located in the City of Hornell and the Towns of Fremont, Hornellsville, and Howard in Steuben County. The District is governed by the Board of Education which comprises five elected members. The District’s budgeted appropriations to date for the 2011-12 fiscal year are $13.7 million.

Key Findings

In March 2008, District voters authorized a capital improvement project (CIP) for additions, reconstruction and renovations of the school buildings at a maximum cost of $52.7 million. As of June 30, 2011, the District’s total CIP expenditures were approximately $34 million, which was under budget by $18.7 million. We found the District awarded 37 construction contracts totaling approximately $29.3 million after seeking competition and that the 249 proposed change orders totaling approximately $1.3 million were properly approved and all were proper CIP expenditures.

  • However, the District did not seek competition for the approximately $5.4 million in CIP-related professional services.
  • The professional service expenditures were not properly supported and fees for construction management services totaling approximately $255,500 were paid in advance of audit.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that District officials comply with the District’s purchasing policy and award professional services contracts only after soliciting RFPs and document a justifiable reason for not soliciting competition. Ensure that all professional service agreements clearly state the terms of the contract, such as the services to be provided and the basis for the compensation.
  • Ensure all invoices for professional services are properly detailed, supported and verified with contracts prior to payment.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236