Oswego School District Audit Committee Offers Recommendations

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego City School District’s board of education recently heard recommendations to make the district safer, more efficient and better prepared for the future.

Fred Maxon, chair of the district’s audit committee, presented the report to the board.

The report contained recommendations for board action. There were also recommendations for Information / Technology, Business Department, schools and other departments.

“The board needs to develop a five-year budget plan. The district would benefit from a five-year scenario that projects out for the long term,” Maxon said.

A treasurer’s report should be prepared and submitted to the board on a monthly basis, he added.

Other recommendations for the board included a Food Service formal policy needs to be developed that includes a reimbursement policy, and the board should annually establish a non-resident student tuition rate.

The district needs to develop a formal written district-wide security plan, according to Maxon.

“It should include the processes for evaluating security risks, identify and prioritize the more dangerous issues,” he said. “You should document the process for discussing and determining solutions.”

The board should establish a framework and continuing process to identify areas of risk and develop procedures and policies to control that risk, he added.

The IT Department has copies of the disaster recovery plan, Maxon told the board.

The board needs to review this policy on an annual basis, he said, adding that one board member should keep a copy in a locked secured area in case of an emergency.

All portable devices that may contain school data (including confidential data) should be required to be password protected, Maxon advised.

All paid positions within the district are to be board approved, Maxon said. He pointed out that timekeepers, ticket takers and scorekeepers are paid a dollar amount established by the athletic director.

Some of the committee’s other recommendations include:

  • Complete a cost-benefit analysis of implementing a time entry system. It may save the district time of entering hours into two different systems and reduce the chance of error of overpayment to employees.
  • Have a complete inventory performed by a third party to ensure the district’s assets are accurately tracked.
  • Implement a checklist for newly hired employees consisting of all forms that must be contained with an employee file.
  • Have policies and procedures regarding the establishment of clubs, record keeping, recording of minutes, rules for fundraising activities, the gifting of scholarships and the roles of the faculty advisor and officers should be revisited and enforced.
  • There should be mandatory training to establish the rules for clubs at the beginning of the years for all faculty advisors and officers.
  • Formal training for school lunch cashiers on register closing procedures and development and implementation of a standard certification form documenting the cash amount in each register at the end of the day.
  • The Transportation Department performs a full inventory and reconciles it to what they have recorded in inventory.

Besides Maxon, the four-person committee consists of Bob Hollenbeck, Laurie Santoro and Michele Turner.