THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents

 

FROM:

Michael Abbott    

 

COMMITTEE:

Audits

TITLE OF ITEM:

Audit Activities

DATE OF SUBMISSION:

November 19, 2004

PROPOSED HANDLING:

Discussion

RATIONALE FOR ITEM:

Enable the Board of Regents to review audits

STRATEGIC GOAL:

5

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY:

 

The following materials are attached.

 

        Roadmap

        Minutes of November Meeting (Attachment I)

        Audit Report Abstract (Attachment II)

        Audit Report


 

REGENTS SUBCOMMITTEE ON AUDITS

MEETING ROADMAP

 

Date:  December 2004

Time:  TBD

Location:  TBD

Last Revised 11/23/04

TOPIC

OUTCOME

WHO

MINUTES

Opening Remarks

 

Chair

2

Review Agenda/Minutes (Attachment I)

Approval

Abbott

1

Ethics and Conflict of Interests

Understand Departmentís Processes

Earle

15

School District Leadership Training

Understand Requirements and Changes

McGuire

15

Current Issues

Update

Abbott

5

Audit Report Abstract (Attachment II)

Questions Addressed

SED Staff

5

Next Session

Preview

Staff

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Attachment I

 

MEETING OF THE REGENTS SUBCOMMITTEE ON AUDITS

November 4, 2004

 

Subcommittee Members in Attendance:

 

Regent Geraldine D. Chapey, Chair

Regent Arnold B. Gardner, Vice Chair

Regent Joseph E. Bowman

Regent Harry Phillips, 3rd

 

Discussion Items

 

Regent Chapey opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and reminding them of the importance of accountability in the public sector and our responsibilities under Regents Goal 5. She cited the danger of a loss of public trust and mentioned that Commissioner Mills and Comptroller Hevesi have appeared together to discuss ways to build the public trust.

 

Previous Meeting Minutes

 

The Subcommittee approved the minutes of the prior meeting.

 

Current Issues

 

Staff briefly updated the members on some on-going issues.

 

 

Staff provided the members with a summary of the Five-Point Plan that was developed by the Schools Accountability Coalition (Coalition). The Coalition consists of members from the OSC, the Department, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, the School Boards Association, the Council of School Superintendents, and the Association of School Business Officials. The five elements of the plan being proposed include the following:

 

        Enhance the effectiveness of external audits

        Require audit committees

        Require a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) for selecting auditors

        Create an internal audit function

        Require training

 

There was a discussion of how to implement these elements of the plan. It is the opinion of Department staff that some could be implemented through guidance, law, and regulation. Department staff will keep the Subcommittee informed on future activities of the Coalition and that any proposed guidance, regulation, or law will be initially shared with the Subcommittee.

 

Members expressed concerns that current thinking in the area of training for school district officials needs to be shared with Deans of Education in the higher education community. It was agreed that Dr. Kevin McGuire would be invited to a future Subcommittee meeting to discuss this issue.

 

Topics for Future Meetings

 

Members were presented with topics for the remaining Subcommittee meetings. One member asked that the March meeting include a discussion of the quality of audits of school districts.

 

Audit Plan

 

The draft audit plan for the period December 1, 2004 to June 30, 2006 was presented for input.


Attachment II

 

Audit Report Abstract

Regents Subcommittee on Audits

December 2004

 

New York City Office of Auditor General

Audit

Major Finding

Recommendations/Response

A Summary of Findings and Recommendations from the Fiscal Year 2003 Internal Audits of Schools of the Department of Education (DOE) for the City of New York

Report 05-15

$0 adjustment

 

The report was prepared by the DOE's Office of Auditor General in conjunction with Ernst and Young, LLP and presents summary findings of internal audits conducted at 34 elementary/middle schools, 1 special education school and 8 high schools.  The audit found exceptions in many of the areas reviewed. The specific areas addressed included record keeping for per diem and paid class coverage, documentation and usage of procurement cards (p-cards), weaknesses in performing computer and audio-visual equipment inventories, and weaknesses in some controls over fund raising activities.

 

 

30 recommendations

 

The report contained 30 recommendations. Some of the key recommendations were to: integrate the per diem payroll and employee identification system to better monitor use of per diem and paid class coverage; automate and standardize processes to track paid class coverage assignments; and require principals to review information regarding teacher absences.

 

Other key recommendations are to: reinforce the need for compliance with procedures for p-card usage; make school personnel aware of their responsibility and train them to create, maintain, and update inventory records; and verify that school personnel involved with fund raising activities are familiar with requirements for recording keeping and use of funds.