The Department of Legislative Services’ (DLS) audit of the financial practices of Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS) found a total of 13 findings that require recommendations. The purpose of the audit was to evaluate whether CCPS’ procedures and controls are effective in accounting for and protecting its assets and whether its policies provide for the most efficient use of financial resources.
The audit disclosed that CCPS needs to improve accountability and internal controls in several areas including payroll processing, student activity funds, and equipment inventory. DLS recommends that CCPS ensure schools properly control cash receipts by implementing and enforcing accountability measures and conduct periodic audits of schools with significant school activity funds.
DLS also identified specific security risks on CCPS’ computer systems and network. For example, the network is not sufficiently protected against malware. The network is also vulnerable when it comes to protecting personally identifiable information. DLS recommends that CCPS implement protection against untrusted traffic entering the network and restrict access of third party connections into the CCPS network.
According to the Carroll County Times:
Despite more than a dozen recommendations, CCPS Superintendent Stephen Guthrie said the school system has known about many of the recommendations and has been working to fix them.
“Overall, we’re pleased that these recommendations were relatively minor. There were no surprises,” Guthrie said.
Other recommendations include ensuring that the necessary parental approvals for Medicaid billings are obtained and that all allowable Medicaid reimbursement is sought for eligible students, implementing a process that provides for the independent review of payroll adjustments, making sure that the equipment inventory records accurately include all equipment owned by CCPS, and ensuring that all annual financial disclosure forms are properly completed and reviewed by the ethics panel, as required.
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