Taylor Releases Performance Audit of Mansfield City Schools

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mansfield -

State Auditor Mary Taylor released the performance audit of Mansfield City Schools today. The report commends district officials for taking steps to improve their financial condition but recommends additional measures to eliminate projected deficits.

“This audit provides an assessment of the district’s fiscal condition and makes recommendations for its financial recovery,” Taylor said. “I encourage school administrators to take a serious look at the recommendations contained in this report to further improve the district’s overall financial stability.”

The Mansfield City School District was placed in fiscal caution August 16, 2006. Based upon projected deficits of $1,837,000 for fiscal year 2007 and $3,178,000 for fiscal year 2008, the district’s financial status was elevated to fiscal watch December 6, 2006. Under the fiscal caution declaration, the district qualified for a state funded performance audit.

Performance audits determine the efficiency and effectiveness of government entities or programs through benchmarking and peer comparisons to industry standards, similar entities and leading practices.  A performance audit can be a useful tool for agencies seeking to improve operations, identify cost savings and make good use of existing resources.

The performance audit of Mansfield City Schools reviewed financial systems, human resources, facilities, transportation, and technology. Recommendations include:

  • Reducing certain staff positions to save more than $8 million
  • Participating in the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s Drug-Free Workplace and Premium Discount Programs to save as much as 30 percent on worker’s compensation premiums
  • Establishing an energy conservation policy to achieve a savings of $192,000
  • Reducing fuel costs by as much as $20,000 annually through competitive bidding

The audit also noted many of the district’s current practices that should be commended, such as:

  • Participating in consortiums to purchase electric and gas utilities to save money
  • Soliciting donations from private groups to supplement the district’s gifted student program
  • Implementing a “no idle” policy for its bus fleet to reduce fuel use and cut costs

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/Mansfield_City_School_District_07_Performance-Richland.pdf.