Some good, some bad in school audit

Published on Thu, May 23, 2002 by Meg Olson

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Some good, some bad in school audit

By Meg Olson

According to the Washington state auditor, the Blaine school district has cleaned up messy accounting for the Close-Up program but is not adequately monitoring employee travel and credit card expenditures.

The audit report for September 1999 through August 2001 released last week by the auditor’s office found that problems keeping track of money raised for and spent on the Close-Up program, which takes juniors to Washington, D.C. for a week, had been cleaned up. In the three previous yearly audits the auditor found that funds for the program were collected and disbursed from outside school accounts, which led to inadequate control by the school district and poor recordkeeping. In 1998,1999 and 2000 the auditor had information that $30,800, $68,200 and $42,000 were spent without adequate controls. In 2001, $20,077 was collected and disbursed through the school, which satisfied the auditor that funds were now being handled appropriately.

However, the auditor did find that the school district was not enforcing its policies about travel reimbursement and per diem meal allowances. School employees also exceeded what school policy allowed for per diem expenses by $1,919. “In one instance three district representatives purchased one meal totaling $246.47,” the report states.

The report also noted $9,073 in credit card payments were not documented with receipts and $11,069 had incomplete documentation.

In the official district response to the auditor’s finding, the district stated credit cards had been rescinded and all travel expenses would now be handled with pre-approved purchase orders or reimbursed once documentation was provided. The auditor recognized the district’s efforts to resolve the problem and will review progress in next year’s audit.


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