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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Fairport Central School District – Financial Condition and Capital Improvement Project Expenditures (2013M-23)


Released: April 19, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the District’s financial condition and capital improvement project expenditures for the period July 1, 2009, to December 11, 2012.

Background

The Fairport Central School District is located in the Town of Perinton, in Monroe County. The District is governed by the Board of Education which comprises seven elected members. The District’s budgeted expenditures for the 2012-13 fiscal year are $107.2 million.

Key Findings

  • Over the last five years, the District’s tax levy only had an average change of 1.09 percent. However, District officials’ conservative budgeting practices generated $15.8 million in net operating surpluses. As a result of these operating surpluses, the accumulated fund balance exceeded the statutory maximum of 4 percent of the ensuing year’s budget.
  • To reduce the fund balance and stay within the 4 percent limit, District officials transferred moneys to the District’s reserves and have continuously increased the amount of fund balance appropriated which has gone unused for the last four years. As a result, the District’s general fund’s fund balance increased to $48,661,075 as of June 30, 2012.
  • The District did not solicit proposals for approximately $2.7 million in professional services for a capital improvement project (CIP), as required by the District’s policy.
  • Expenditures for architectural services were not properly supported.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop a plan for the use of the surplus balances in unexpended surplus funds identified in this report in a manner that benefits District taxpayers, and provides appropriate transparency through the budget process with public disclosure.
  • Review all reserves and determine if the amounts reserved are necessary, reasonable, and in compliance with statutory requirements.
  • Ensure that District officials comply with the District’s purchasing policy and award professional services contracts only after soliciting RFPs.
  • Ensure that professional service providers submit proper itemization and support for reimbursable expenses.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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