Taylor Issues Painesville Local School District Performance Audit

At Request of Fiscally Conscious District, Audit Identifies Potential Savings

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lake County -

State Auditor Mary Taylor has released the performance audit of Painesville Local School District identifying more than $1.3 million in savings by implementing specific practices and procedures by the district. 

“The Painesville Local School District generally is an efficiently run system,” Taylor said.  “We encourage all public entities to be proactive about identifying further savings, especially when the dollars go towards educating Ohio children.”

The audit was executed at the request of the Superintendent and was funded through the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Financing Student Success.  Painesville Local School District has been classified as an excellent district by the Ohio Department of Education.

Many of the District’s current practices should be commended. 

• They place an emphasis on financial forecasting and efficiently communicate fiscal practices to the community. 
• Leaders pursue alternative sources of funding to increase revenue without burdening the taxpayers.
• The district is able to minimize food waste and storage by ordering through a company that delivers in a timely manner.
• Custodial and maintenance employees receive proper training.
• Students assist district technicians in providing technical support. 

Because of the school district’s rapid growth, the audit suggested that they develop a facility master plan.  To help prevent overcrowding in its school buildings, the district should continually monitor its building capacity and utilization rates.  It would also be wise to adopt a formal process for projecting student enrollment. 

The major cost savings identified in the performance audit pertain to transportation and custodial operations. 

• By re-designing routes, staggering bell schedules, and using routing software, the district should be able to eliminate at least nine buses. 
• Based on national benchmarks, the district should consider reducing custodial staffing level by 15 full-time employees. 
• Conversely, the district should consider increasing the maintenance/grounds staffing levels initially by two full time employees. 

Other audit recommendations involved human resource technology. 

• It was suggested that the district could improve its current personnel processes by requiring direct deposit, and installing an automated time and attendance system. 
• The district should consider purchase human resources software. 

Due to the rising cost of medical care, the audit suggested that the district should require employees to contribute 12 percent towards the monthly health insurance premiums.

Performance audits determine the efficiency and effectiveness of government agencies or programs through the use of benchmarking and peer comparisons.  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 Painesville reviewed financial systems, human resources, facilities, transportation, food service and technology.

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 full copy of the report is available online at http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/Public/AuditSearch/detail.aspx?ReportID=59248