Starpoint submits corrective action plan to state
The plan was submitted to the state and addresses how the district will make changes to the nine areas recommended for change. The report, conducted by the state comptroller’s office, looked into the district’s finances through the end of the 2010-2011 school year.
The audit recommended the board and district officials should develop realistic revenue and expenditure estimates for the annual budget, and monitor financial activity to ensure that operations closely mirror the budget.
According to Director of Administrative Services Jonathan Andrews, their action plan for this recommendation is the board will continue to be involved in every step of the budget, they will ensure the budget will support the mission of the district and the board will continue to receive monthly budget and revenue reports.
Another comment from the state was district officials should ensure liabilities are appropriately accounted for and reported in conformance with generally accepted accounting principals.
In response, the action plan will have the district review all liabilities recorded on balance sheets with external auditors and make necessary changes.
The district was also questioned about the money that was over-budgeted, according to the state. The report stated Starpoint over-budgeted reserves by $1.7 million and liabilities by $1.6 million, and used approximately $1.7 million of its fund balance when it wasn’t needed.
The state said they should reduce the balances to a “reasonable level” in accordance with legal restrictions.
Andrews said the board will annually review all reserve fund activity and a projection of how the surplus funds will be used will be included in a five-year financial plan.
The state also commented the district should create a proper debt service fund. Andrews said this is a difference of opinions, because there is nothing in state law stating they need this fund. He said this is a paper transaction and has no effect on the budget finances.
The district will work with external auditors to implement an official debt service fund.
Another suggestion that came from the audit findings is the board of education and district should work to provide voters specific information on what will be included in proposed capital projects, including quantities, details and locations where the work will be performed.
“We feel we as a district do, do this,” said Andrews.
In the future, he said if they have another capital project they would continue to go “above and beyond” and get information out to the public.
A copy of the corrective action plan is now available to the public through the district.