Taylor Releases Columbus City School District Audit

Audit results show that the district has not corrected previous issues

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Columbus -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor today released the fiscal year 2007 audit for the Columbus City School District.  The audit reports that the district has not corrected many of the issues identified in the fiscal year 2006 audit.

Additionally, the audit uncovers more than $908,000 in questioned costs, or grant funds that were not utilized according to grant guidelines, and more than $3,700 in findings for recovery, or determinations that money was improperly spent or accounted for and must be repaid.

“Columbus City School District officials must address repeat financial issues highlighted in their audit report,” Taylor said.  “I encourage the district to use this audit report as a tool to improve overall accountability for the tax dollars they spend.”

The district has consistently received audit comments regarding student activities, capital assets and Title I questioned costs.  The 2007 audit reveals that:

• Ten of the 26 findings in the 2007 audit were also present in the fiscal year 2006 audit report.
• Of the remaining 16 findings, 11 were brought to the school district’s attention in the management letter for the 2006 audit report.
• Five of the findings in the report are new.

Uncorrected issues include more than $1.1 million, or 905 assets, missing from the district’s departmental inventories.  The audit also reports that documentation for certain federal grant programs have errors and inconsistencies.  Due to improper and sometimes non-existent grant documentation, the audit shows questioned costs totaling $908,509.

The questioned costs include the following federal programs:

• $774,206 – Title I
• $71,533 – Title II D
• $19,406 – Reading First State Grants
• $43,364 – School Breakfast Program

The audit also identifies $3,764.99 in findings for recovery.  The following must be repaid: 

• The district paid $1,284.94 in insurance claims for ineligible individuals.
• The food service fund had $397.05 in receipts collected but not deposited into the district bank account ($112.95 has been repaid).
• Student fund receipts totaling $953 were collected but not deposited into the district’s bank account.
• Gift card incentives totaling $1,130 were purchased for students.  There was no accounting for the gift cards.

District administrators have submitted a corrective action plan to address the issues brought forth in the audit. Responses are listed in the report.

A copy of the full audit is available online at http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/AuditSearch/Reports/2008/Columbus_City_School_District_07-Franklin.pdf.