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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Sullivan West Central School District – Financial Condition (2014M-40)


Released: August 15, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the District’s financial activities for the period July 1, 2012 through October 8, 2013.

Background

The Sullivan West Central School District is located in Sullivan County. The District, which is governed by an elected nine-member Board of Education, operates two schools with approximately 1,200 students. Budgeted appropriations for the 2013-14 fiscal year totaled approximately $33 million.

Key Findings

  • District officials consistently overestimated budget appropriations and appropriated more unexpended surplus funds than necessary to fund District operations.
  • The District incurred operating surpluses, some of which were transferred to reserves at the end of each fiscal year, resulting in real property taxes that were higher than necessary.
  • Two reserve fund balances were in excess of the amounts needed for authorized purposes.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt budgets that include reasonable estimates for expenditures and the use of unexpended surplus funds.
  • Develop a plan for using surplus funds in a manner that benefits District taxpayers.
  • Review all reserve balances and determine if the amount reserved are necessary and reasonable.

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