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Kings Park school district should improve fuel inventory record-keeping, audit finds

Kings Park High School is pictured June 27,

Kings Park High School is pictured June 27, 2012. Photo Credit: Fran Berkman

An audit of Kings Park Central School District’s operations has determined that the district should improve its recordkeeping for fuel inventory.

A report by the New York state comptroller’s office Division of Local Government and School Accountability released Wednesday recommended that the district adopt and implement written policies and procedures to ensure that fuel inventory is periodically measured and records are maintained, require that all employees using fuel list the gallons pumped, vehicle and type of fuel, and ensure that any differences in fuel inventory records and physical fuel tank measurements be promptly investigated and resolved.

State auditors examined the district’s fuel records from July 1, 2014 to July 31, 2015, according to the report. During that period, the district purchased 81,172 gallons of diesel fuel and 10,305 gallons of gasoline at a total cost of $205,363, which was used to operate more than 60 vehicles, the report showed.

Kings Park schools Superintendent Timothy Eagen said representatives from the state comptroller’s office audited the district’s financial statements, files and internal controls. The fact that fuel accountability was the sole finding “speaks to the high level of internal controls and budgeting procedures that are typical” of the school district, Eagen said in a written statement.

Eagen emphasized that state auditors “did not uncover any fuel loss, which would have flagged the potential for theft or environmental impact,” and said that all recommendations have been fully implemented.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requires the operator of any facility with a combined underground storage capacity of more than 1,100 gallons to maintain daily inventory records to detect leaks, the report showed. Kings Park schools’ transportation yard has one 6,000 gallon diesel fuel tank and one 4,000 gallon gasoline tank, according to the report.

State auditors found that for the majority of the audit period fuel use and inventory records “consisted of hand-written notes to record fuel pump readings, fuel deliveries and measuring stick readings,” and that when district personnel began using an inventory form in July 2015, the form was at times filled out incorrectly.

In a Dec. 15, 2015 letter to the state comptroller’s office outlining the district’s corrective action plan, Eagen noted that prior to the audit, the district maintained video monitoring of the fuel pumps and tanks. He said that the facility has on-site security 24 hours per day, seven days per week. A digital fuel monitoring system for the two existing fuel tanks was put into the 2016-17 district budget, which will remove the possibility of human error in fuel tank readings, Eagen said.

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