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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Rochester Academy Charter School – Purchasing (2013M-144)

Released: July 26, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the School’s purchasing practices for the period July 1, 2011, to March 1, 2013.


The Rochester Academy Charter School is located in the City of Rochester, in Monroe County. The oversight for school operations is provided by the Board of Trustees which comprises five members. The School’s 2011-12 fiscal year operating expenses totaled approximately $3.3 million.

Key Finding

  • The School did not have sufficient Board-approved policies and procedures over the procurement process. Such policies and procedures would provide guidance on when and how to solicit competition, documentation requirements to support purchasing decisions and payments. As a result of this weakness we reviewed 76 disbursements totaling $320,000 to determine if the disbursements were for school purposes, properly supported by a detailed original receipt, and, where applicable, to ensure compliance with the School’s charter. We found that the School used restrictive practices in some of their purchases, which undermined the intent of true competition.

Key Recommendations

  • Establish a comprehensive purchasing policy and ensure the Business Manager implements procedures to comply with that policy.
  • Ensure that claims are only paid from an original receipt that contains sufficient detail to support the expenditure.
  • Discontinue the practice of making split payments to vendors.

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