Wednesday, February 17, 2010

APS charter school audit reveals 'troubling' patterns

State Auditor Hector Balderas announced today that the 2009 Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) financial audit performed by Moss Adams contained 378 findings, the vast majority of which exhibit poor financial management and failure to adhere to internal controls in many of the District’s charter schools.

“In these difficult economic times, it’s imperative that school districts manage funds responsibly and I will continue to highlight areas of concern,” Balderas said. “My office will continue to partner with APS and the District’s charter schools to strengthen their fiscal accountability.”

Of the 378 findings, over 120 were identified in previous years but had not been corrected. Balderas called upon the governing bodies of APS and those charter schools identified by the audit to reduce risks to public school funds and work together to address the findings.

"The recent audits of the Jemez Mountain and Mora School Districts have highlighted that sound fiscal management of public school funds must be a priority,” Balderas stated. “It’s critical that the state’s largest school district correct these troubling trends in order to prevent fraud and the inappropriate use of public funds.”

Many of the District’s charter schools had the most findings, including Christine Duncan, The Learning Community, Academia de Lengua y Cultura, La Academia de Esperanza, La Resolana Leadership Academy, Corrales International and Albuquerque Talent Development. The findings included non-approved journal entries and overall issues relating to cash controls.

More specifically, for certain schools the findings cited no receipts completed for cash received; no evidence of payroll registers having authorization or review sign offs; invoices were not approved before they were paid , cell phones were paid for contractors without monitoring personal use; proper procurement procedures for competitive bidding on contracts were not followed; and there was no segregation of duties when preparing and depositing money.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

presume the audit covered charters under APS ... if there are charters outside APS (in the district, but under the State) and if so - how did they do ... and were there any charters that didn't have findings? That said - how serious ARE the findings? Are some indicators of future problems if not addressed, or all they call catestrophic?