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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

December 10, 2014, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases School Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Bemus Point Central School District, Byron-Bergen Central School District, Haverstraw-Stony Point Central School District and the Westmoreland Central School District.

“In an era of limited resources and increased accountability, it’s critical that schools make every dollar count,” DiNapoli said. “By auditing school district and charter school finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively.”

Bemus Point Central School District – Reserve Funds (Chautauqua County)
The district’s retiree health insurance reserve with $444,545 is not a legally permissible reserve. Currently, there is no statutory authority for a district to establish a reserve for post-employment benefits that are not based on employees’ earned and unused leave time. If the funds were properly reported, the district’s unrestricted fund balance would have totaled $951,099, which is 7 percent of the ensuing year’s budgeted appropriations, exceeding the statutory limit of 4 percent.

Byron-Bergen Central School District – Online Banking and Information Technology (Genesee County)
District officials did not establish adequate online banking internal controls to ensure sufficient protection of the district’s assets. The district unnecessarily has online banking access for all of its bank accounts. In addition, district officials do not secure user names, passwords and secured tokens. They also do not consistently erase the browser history after online banking.

Haverstraw-Stony Point Central School District – Financial Condition (Rockland County)
Since early 2000, the district’s financial condition has been negatively impacted by commercial property owners’ successful tax certiorari claims. In 2007, district officials issued $194 million in debt to pay tax certiorari claims. The repayment of this debt started in April 2008 and cost the district more than $12 million the first year and will cost approximately $11.5 million annually for each succeeding year through 2037. To keep the district’s financial condition from declining further, officials have closely monitored expenditures and restricted departmental budgets each year.

Westmoreland Central School District – Financial Condition (Oneida County)
District officials did not develop reasonable budgets. Revenue estimates were generally close to the actual revenues received. However, over the last three fiscal years, the district spent nearly $5 million less than planned and did not use any of the appropriated fund balance that it budgeted to finance operations (an average of $1.5 million over the last three years).

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For access to state and local government spending and nearly 50,000 state contracts, visit http://www.openbooknewyork.com/. The easy-to-use website was created by Comptroller DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.

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