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School district audit comes through almost spotless

A just-released 2004-2005 state audit of the South Whidbey School District has dinged the district for minor reporting problems in documenting how federal grant money was spent.

The report says that the district did not have documentation in its files that detailed to whether one of the district’s vendors was certified to receive federal funds. Federal guidelines require that all federal grant recipients ensure vendors with contracts exceeding $25,000 are not suspended or debarred from participating in federal programs.

“We contracted with Edmonds for some special education services that aren’t offered here, but we didn’t have the paperwork in the file that says that the Edmonds School District is certified to participate in the grant program,” said Dan Poolman. business manager for the South Whidbey School District.

A second condition noted in the audit report found that documentation detailing the time and effort of some district workers was not found in the files. Time and effort certification is prepared monthly or semi-annually, and the reports are verified against payroll records on a monthly basis.

“Time and effort documents the amount of time personnel spend working with students. The work was done, we just didn’t have the paperwork in the files,” said Poolman.

The audit report said that without proper time and effort records, the district was unable to substantiate the accuracy of payroll costs charged to the special education program in a manner required by the federal government.

The audit report also says the district did not monitor vendors to ensure compliance with regulations regarding procurement and suspension rules.

State auditing practices do not examine every portion of the district’s financial activities during each audit. The areas examined usually focus on places where the highest risk of noncompliance or misappropriation may occur.

In the most recent audit, the state examined the district’s accountability in expenditures, payroll, high school athletics, food service and ASB funds. They also audited the district for compliance with state and local laws and regulations, the Open Public Meeting Act, transportation and the district’s staff mix. They also examined cash investments, taxes, revenues, expenditures, long-term debt and the overall presentation of the financial statement.

The district is audited once a year. The South Whidbey School District received a problem-free audit for the 2003-2004 school year.

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