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Taylor Releases Performance Audit of Cambridge City School District
Cambridge, Ohio -
Auditor of State Mary Taylor today released the performance audit of the Cambridge City School District. The audit outlines steps the district has taken to reduce costs and makes additional recommendations that, if fully implemented, could save nearly $1.4 million annually.
The district qualified for a state-funded performance audit when the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) placed it in fiscal caution on February 16, 2006. In a subsequent five-year financial forecast, the district projected a potential deficit of $1.8 million by the end of fiscal year 2011.
“The overall objective of this performance audit is to assist district administrators by identifying methods to eliminate the conditions that caused the fiscal caution declaration,” Taylor said. “School administrators have taken steps to reduce the district’s financial burden but more work can be done. I encourage district officials to consider the recommendations outlined in this report and continue to work toward achieving financial stability and improving operational efficiencies.”
The performance audit of the Cambridge City School District reviewed financial systems, human resources, facilities, transportation, food service and technology. The audit identifies several current practices worthy of recognition, which include:
- Reducing staffing levels prior to completion of the performance audit
- Limiting spending on discretionary items to levels lower than the peer average
- Installing computer software to improve network security
The audit also outlines several recommendations district officials should consider in order to save $1,378,822 annually, which include:
- Aligning teacher and education service personnel staffing levels closer to state minimums based on its projected financial condition
- Negotiating changes to the health insurance plan and severance payouts
- Developing a sick leave abuse policy to help reduce substitute and overtime costs
The performance audit indicates that if school officials implement the recommendations outlined in the report, the district could operate with positive fund balances through fiscal year 2011.
Performance audits report on the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations through peer comparisons and benchmarking to industry standards. A performance audit is a useful tool for agencies seeking to improve operations, identify cost savings and make better use of existing resources.
A copy of the complete audit is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.
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 866-FRAUD-OH (866-372-8364). Since taking office, Taylor has identified more than $13 million in public funds that were handled improperly, spent illegally or stolen and must be repaid.