Taylor Releases Zanesville City School District Audit

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Zanesville -

State Auditor Mary Taylor released the annual audit of the Zanesville City School District today questioning the spending of $121,129 of federal grant money for the district’s free or reduced meal programs. Auditors contend the district unintentionally purged documents necessary to support the spending.

“The failure to retain documents substantiating the spending of federal grant money increases the likelihood of misspending or even theft,” Taylor said. “District officials have responded with a plan to prevent this situation from occurring in the future and their efforts should be commended.”

Federal regulations require a three-year retention period for documents supporting the spending of federal grant money. A district’s future funding is potentially jeopardized if proper documentation is not retained or if grant money is spent outside the parameters of federal regulations.

The audit shows that three of the district’s elementary schools charged the free or reduced meal grants for meals they cannot prove they served. Of the $121,129 in undocumented spending, Westview Elementary School is responsible for $85,682, McIntire Munson Elementary School is responsible for $34,898 and National Road Elementary School is responsible for $549.

The district was also cited for agreeing to salary increases without confirming they could afford the increases. The Ohio Department of Education placed the district in fiscal caution on March 2, 2006 due to projected deficits for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006.

The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation.  The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).

A copy of the full audit is available online at http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/AuditSearch/Reports/2007/Zanesville_CSD_06-Muskingum.pdf