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Audit reveals lapses in Corning City School District’s claims processing

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

An audit conducted on the Corning City School District has revealed significant lapses in the district’s process of auditing and approving claims prior to payment.

The audit, which covered the period from July 1, 2021, to March 31, 2023, was aimed at determining the efficacy of the district’s claims auditor in vetting and approving claims for payment. The district encompasses various towns in Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben Counties and is governed by a nine-member elected board.

Key findings of the audit indicated that the district’s claims auditor, an employee of the Greater Southern Tier Board of Cooperative Educational Services (GST BOCES), failed to properly audit and approve all claims.

This included 43 claims totaling approximately $16.1 million paid to GST BOCES, raising concerns about the auditor’s objectivity and independence. Additionally, the Treasurer prematurely paid 18 claims totaling about $1.7 million for health insurance reimbursements and credit card purchases, and 49 travel-related credit card charges lacked essential supporting documentation like pre-approval forms.

The audit report recommended that the Corning City School District ensure all claims, especially those for GST BOCES service charges, are independently audited and paid only after thorough review with adequate supporting documentation. The district officials have generally agreed with the audit findings and expressed their intention to implement corrective actions. The School Business Official, along with other administrative staff, is responsible for the district’s day-to-day management under the Board’s direction.