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State audit finds fiscal issues in 2 Nassau school districts

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is seen

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is seen in a file photo. Credit: AP / Mike Groll

The state comptroller’s office audited the Seaford and Oceanside school districts and released its reports earlier this month.

In Seaford, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s staff looked at the cash receipts of Seaford High School’s “Renaissance Store,” a student-run store from which the proceeds go to a school club.

Auditors reviewed the store’s cash receipt process from July 1, 2014 to March 31, 2016, according to the comptroller’s office. They found that school store deposits during the 2015-2016 school year were “not made in a timely manner,” and the time from collection to deposit ranged from 15 to 91 days.

The store’s receipts also were not documented in a profit and loss statement, the auditors found, or documented in enough detail.

Seaford Superintendent Brian L. Conboy said the district has already implemented the state’s recommendations. He said no money was misplaced and the store’s sales — mostly snacks to students — benefit the Renaissance Club, part of a national club that rewards good character.

“[The auditors] didn’t focus on anything related to taxpayer money,” Conboy said.

In Oceanside, the state audited the district’s procurement procedures used to obtain professional services between July 1, 2014 and April 19 this year.

While bidding is not legally required, auditors found that Oceanside school district officials violated Board of Education policy when they did not always seek competitive prices for services.

The state looked at contracts with 15 vendors, which were paid about $1.3 million in total.

In seven of those contracts — worth $760,484 — district officials did not seek competitive prices, the comptroller’s office said.

When such policies are not followed, “the Board does not have adequate assurance that services are procured in the most economical way and in the District’s best interests,” the state wrote in its audit.

Oceanside Superintendent Phyllis S. Harrington said the district was already changing its procedures before the audit began.

“We understand and agree with much of what the audit said,” Harrington said.


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