School district wins auditing award

The Oak Harbor School District received an award for producing clear and accurate reports.

The Oak Harbor School District recently received an award for consistently producing clear and accurate reports and for responsibly managing public funds.

State Auditor Pat McCarthy presented the State Auditor’s Stewardship Award to the district’s Business Services Department during a school board meeting March 25, acknowledging the role of former Executive Director of Business Services Vicki Williams in bringing the district to a higher standard.

According to McCarthy, school finances can be complex, therefore any financial decision must be clearly documented and justified.

In an interview, Chief Financial Officer Amber Porter said it can be challenging to get staff to follow the same procedure without mistakes.

“Our district has a record of clean audits over the years, and I think we frequently have a good collaboration with state auditors with our reporting and accountability,” she said.

Oak Harbor shines particularly bright among the state’s 295 school districts. According to McCarthy, the documentation was so detailed that it has been used as a best practice model for the auditor’s office staff when evaluating other districts.

“We don’t give those (awards) very often,” she said. “When you think of all the governments that we audit, it really is a stand alone when a team works as hard as your team has here.”