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State audit reveals school district policy breakdowns

Nov 20, 2010 10:13 am

ALBANY – Mid-Hudson News Network reports this morning that audits released by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office have pointed out that the Catskill Central School District did not enforce its purchasing policies and failed to implement effective information technology controls to protect its computer systems, and suggested that the Hudson City School District needs to do a better job seeking Medicaid reimbursement – for local as well as state taxpayers.

DiNapoli's audit says the Catskill district should develop policies and procedures to safeguard taxpayer dollars and protect its computer assets. The auditors found that the district needs to improve its internal controls over the procurement of goods and services not subject to competitive bidding requirements. District officials did not comply with and enforce the district’s purchasing policies for the procurement of goods and services when competitive bidding was not required by law, the audit said. The auditors said that 13 of 30 purchases reviewed, totaling $53,482, were made without the benefit of price comparisons. Procedures were not in place to monitor compliance with the district’s procurement policy and instances of noncompliance were not reported to the board. They also found that the district could also improve its internal controls to more effectively safeguard the district's computer system and data. For a full copy of the audit, visit www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/schools/2010/catskill.pdf

In Hudson, DiNapoli's audit found that the district lacked written policies and procedures to define the responsibilities for collecting data, monitoring student eligibility, documenting services, submitting and reconciling claims, and monitoring the receipt of payments. As a result, the contractor processed claims for only 122 of the district’s 307 Medicaid-eligible students. The auditors estimate that the district did not claim eligible services totaling at least $460,256, which would have resulted in the district receiving about $115,064 and New York State receiving $115,064 in potential Medicaid reimbursement revenue.
For a full copy of the audit, visit www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/schools/2010/hudsoncity.pdf