Tuesday, January 1, 2008

N.Y. audits cite schools for sloppy bookkeeping

ALBANY — Audits of 226 school systems last year found districts commonly made payments to employees that they were not entitled to and did not adequately monitor expenses to ensure they were appropriate, according to a report the state comptroller released this week.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said his office completed more than double the number of audits in 2007 than 2006. They included audits of nine charter schools, the first time the state has reviewed finances of the publicly funded, privately run institutions. The charter schools, however, are contesting the state's right to audit their books.

All told, the Comptroller's Office has finished 334 audits in 332 school districts to comply with a 2005 law that requires reviews of all 834 school districts, boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES), and charter schools by March 31, 2010. Another 200 audits are under way.

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