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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls – Professional Services (2013M-283)


Released: January 17, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the effectiveness of the School’s compact contract with the Brighter Choice Foundation (Foundation) for the period July 1, 2011 through May 31, 2013.

Background

The Albany Leadership Charter High School For Girls, located in the City of Albany, Albany County, is governed by a Board of Trustees which comprises six voting members. The School’s budgeted operating expenses for the 2012-13 fiscal year totaled approximately $4.7 million.

Key Findings

  • The School entered into a three-year compact agreement with the Foundation in April 2013. During the 2012-13 fiscal year, the School paid the Foundation a fee of $32,218 to become a member of the charter school network and receive services stated in the compact. We reviewed the compact document and did not identify a specific declaration made by the Foundation that clearly defined what activities it will engage in to achieve the stated goals and objectives. Also, the compact did not contain a specific performance measure to determine whether the services had been received by the School to warrant the School’s payment of the $32,218. The compact does not provide sufficient detail of the activities the Foundation will engage in or how delivery of services will be measured.
  • We asked the Board President to describe the services the School is receiving from the Foundation, but the Board President could not provide specific details regarding such services. Therefore, because School officials are not certain of the services they should be receiving under the compact, they cannot determine if the School is actually receiving the services it has paid for.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that the contract with the Foundation contains sufficient descriptions to determine the benefits, rights and responsibilities of all parties to the contract, and use this information to monitor compliance with the contract.
  • Ensure that service contracts have reasonable fee structures based on the measurable value of the services provided.

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