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Monday, July 21, 2008

District Audit Information Released by State Auditor's Office

There were two recently released audits of a couple of areas of the District by the State Auditor's office. Both are interesting.

One is a federal audit but it includes many sources of funding I had never seen before (Department of Justice and other federal monies). It had come up because the district had a grant from UW for a program called Gear-Up (which I think is to help struggling students be aware of college) and had improperly used funds from this program to finance a trip to New Orleans for 23 students and staff (ostensibly for community service). The district thought the trip met the grant requirements but the state auditor's office said it didn't.

The other audit was about the district not overseeing payroll properly (which, if you read the audit, is something the district has been warned about before). A district employee padded a timesheet to the tune of $9,000. The Auditor referred the problem to the King County prosecutor's office and recommended seeking recovery of the funds.

The other part of this audit concerned ASB funds (Associated Student Body funds which is a fund of middle and high school student body monies). This was about travel for Hands Across a Bridge, an exchange program at Roosevelt involving students from Northern Ireland and South Africa. Apparently, the Roosevelt students and staff who took these trips used advance money to buy tickets which is in violation of district policy. From the audit:

"Receipts obtained at the end of trips included $45 in alcoholic beverage purchases; $212 in gifts
for hosts in the foreign countries and $97 for a replacement passport. The ASB fund was not
reimbursed for any of these improper expenditures."

Someone actually submitted a receipt for alcoholic beverages on a school trip?

I'm a little surprised at this audit given that I hadn't heard anything about it at Roosevelt and also that the organizer of this program should be someone who would know how funds could be used (or not used).

1 comment:

Michael said...

Seeing as my spouse works for the District, I can tell you that the audit you are referring to is the annual audit of the district. Every year the state auditor comes in and audits their federal programs (more than you would imagine), their financial statements, and what they call an accountability and legal compliance audit. Three different types of audits EVERY year.

The Roosevelt issue from what I hear was not a separate audit, just part of the regular audit. It's not surprising that you did not hear about it at Roosevelt since the auditors look at a lot of different areas and not everyone at every school knows that the auditors come in every year. Same with the payroll issue you mention. All part of the same audit.

What you are quoting there is not the audit report itself - just the findings, which I hear are the equivalent of a major spanking.

Oh, and the alcohol? Happens all the time, but the wife says that the people in charge either look the other way, or don't look at all. What bothers me about the items you mention is the $212 in gifts. Talk about a clear-cut case of gifting of public funds. See what I mean about no one looking or caring?