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BOE gets audit

By By Robbie Byrd, News Editor
"It's not a big deal, but it's a big deal tome," said Buck Powell, superintendent of the Escambia County Board of Education, referring to an state-released audit for the October 2000-September 2001 fiscal year.
The audit noted only three "immaterial instances of non-compliance," points Robert Davis, CPA, of Atmore said were only minor suggestions auditors felt should be brought to Powell's attention.
"These things could be major, if the quantity was large enough, Davis said. "But these are just minor offenses that can easily be corrected."
The audit presented three "non-reportable offenses, or instances that are not violations of the Government Auditing Standards.
The 45 page report suggested that the BOE:
Davis emphasized the importance of making sure deposits were made in an expeditious manner.
"The reason for depositing money quickly is so monies are not on site," Davis said. "This prevents temptation and insures that money can be reported accurately."
Purchase orders, according to current board policies, should be requested before purchases are made, but in some instances, Powell said that was not the case.
"If someone goes out and picks up supplies then in a few cases they would come back after the fact and request a purchase order," Powell said.
While Powell said this was not a major problem, is was something that could be corrected through educating teachers on the proper purchase order process and enforcing rules already in place.
The report agreed, stating in its recommendation that "the purchase order system at the local school level should be properly executed."
The BOE released a corrective action plan, accompanying the audit, that said principals had been made aware of all recommendations in the audit, either prior to its release or beginning with the 2002 school year, and have been properly instructed on their duties concerning the audit's findings.
The report also included a section concerning the board's use of First Progressive Bank as one its depositories.
According to the Code of Alabama 1975, section 41-14A-1 through 14 requires that funds should be placed in a bank or savings association that is a qualified depository.
However, the BOE reported that First Progressive was not a qualified public depository.
In its response, the BOE reportedly has planned to move public funds for the Child Nutrition program from the bank this month, but leave one account their for private donations because "donors require that this account be held at First Progressive Bank."
While the depository instance was not referenced in the audit, the BOE brought the matter to the attention of the Chief Examiner of the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts, the preparers of the audit.
Powell is sure that he can nail all these problems down before the next audit.
"We have a workshop scheduled to take place to talk about all this and have already met with the auditors to fix some of these problems," Powell said. "Nothing here is anything to get locked up for, just something to improve upon."
The audit, performed by the state, was independent and filed on June 28, 2002 and completed by examiners Christina M. Smith and Angela B. Waters for chief examiner Ronald Jones.