However, it was discussed in the 10/10/11 CCS school board meeting that the P&M audit only analyzes a very small part of the financial operation of the district. My understanding from the discussion and the audit results in the board packet, was that it is mostly just on the district's reporting - making sure that the district records the correct expenses and income under the correct descriptions, puts those amounts in the correct slots on the financial statements, ensures that any "material" (huge dollar amount) violations are investigated and reported on, and that proper certifications of employees are earned and evidence of the certifications are in their personnel folders.
If the dollar amounts of "issues" don't meet P&M's dollar clip level definition of "material", then apparently, the district can do whatever they want (with relation to what P&M audits). Therefore, the audit results do not report that the district is squeaky clean and that they are handling all of their finances correctly. P&M specifically said in the audit that they have very specific and limited tasks in the audit and that outside of the requirements for those tasks, that they are neither obligated to comment in their findings nor investigate them. That is why the obvious violations of financial policy and inappropriate use of school funds that I brought to the district and the auditors prior to the audit were not reported on the audit results. P&M either doesn't consider the dollar amounts "material" enough, or that the violations were outside the focus of the audit... Based on that, I personally consider the audit "results" and the district's "award" to both be meritless and useless.
I believe that the district needs an auditor that actually "audits" the district's finances rather than window dressing it with a meaningless award that makes the district "look" to be doing things properly.
I asked for a forensic audit of the district at a board meeting about 18 months ago and that request was ignored. I believe it is long overdue.
Here were my comments during the 10/10/11 meeting:
- I am disappointed in the results of the district audit by Plante and Moran.
- Following finding significant violations of district policy and improper coding of charges to the district purchasing card through my FOIA requests that I have brought to the attention of the board and nothing was done with it, I submitted an email to the lead auditor prior to the start of audit to request that the audit analyze:
i. the use of the district purchasing card by one teacher who allowed three other people to use her purchasing card,
ii. account coding of trip expenses for an extracurricular group that were charged to district educational account codes (vs. the group’s account codes) by the same teacher,
iii. and the district not following policy in regard to obtaining multiple bids, and/or not obtaining board approval for large purchases as mandated by policy.
- The audit did not address any of the items I brought forward to Plant & Moran.
- The audit noted that the district had policies and administrative guidelines in place regarding the use of district purchasing cards. However, the district website does not reflect that the district has any administrative guidelines for the use of the purchasing card. (Even by today, 11/06/11).
- On the organization chart in the 2011 audit on page 100 of the board packet, I found many interesting things as compared to the October 8th, 2010 org chart I have from last year.
- There are many changes in titles and the apparent staff shown from 2010. Although there have been no requests from Administration to the board for new employees or promotions for employees, there are many changes in titles. However, the board must approve "Administrative, Instructional and Non-Instructional Staff Changes" in an open meeting.
i. Although the Superintendent has advised that there is a pay freeze on all of the employees of the district, the titles of several positions have changed since the 10/8/10 org chart, I suspect that the pay for these individuals have also increased, and the Board of Education has not been asked to approve promotions or been asked to approve raises for these individuals:
1. After only one year in the position and several Human Resources issues in this audit, the 2010 "Director of Human Resources" is now the 2011 "Executive Director for Human Resources and Communications".
2. The 2010 position of "Supervisor, Assessment, Research, and Evaluation" with a secretary working under her in 2010, is now the 2011 "Chief Academic Officer" with "subject area coordinators, State and Federal Programs, staff development, student data management, and program evaluation" under her.
3. The 2009 "Communications secretary", became 2010’s "Community Relations / Communications" person, and 2011’s "Communications Coordinator”.
4. There is a new position in 2011 called "Executive Director of Operations". I am not sure who is in that position, but the position did not exist in 2010.
5. Have the promotions resulted in pay increases for any of those employees?
After the 10/10/11 CCS board meeting, the steward for the CCS teachers union, came over to me and asked me why I had not come to him with information on the teacher that I had reported to Dr. Rock and Plant & Moran that I believed had misused the district purchasing card. This is what I did:
- emailed it to the board and the superintendent over a year ago and commented about it during a board meeting at the same time,
- I brought my findings to the Finance Committee in the beginning of March, 2011,
- It was included in my letter to Dr. Rock and Mrs. Lieblang in a letter with full details on March 18, 2011.
- I also emailed it to Plante & Moran August 2011 before the audit.
Based on this, apparently Dr. Rock did nothing with my information. So much for "he'll handle it internally". I am assuming that he apparently "handled" it into the circular file under his desk.