CPSB gets clean bill from audit

By By John Guidroz / American Press

The Calcasieu Parish School Board’s 2012-2013 comprehensive financial report received a clean opinion from an independent

accounting firm. But auditors found issues dealing with work orders that were not properly signed and one employee getting

paid overtime that was not documented properly.

The report from the Monroe-based firm Allen, Green & Williamson was released by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office

on Monday. Kirby Bruchhaus, the School Board’s chief financial officer, said the 225-page report will be presented at the

board’s budget meeting next month.

The audit found that 13 of the 40 work

orders in the transportation department “were missing either the date of

completion

or a required signature,” and that one of the workers could not be

located. Bruchhaus said the problem stemmed from maintenance

workers not being at the mechanic shop once a repaired school bus

was picked up.

According to the report, internal

controls require the “person who performs the work, the person who

reviewed the work performed

and the person who requested the work performed all sign off on

the work orders to ensure the work was performed as requested.”

Work orders must also include the date the services are requested

and when the work is completed.

The School Board’s response in the audit said the work orders “will be completed with the required information and signed

by the mechanic performing the work.” Mechanics who assist in the assigned work will also sign the work orders.

The audit also found that one

employee’s supervisor approved $6,988 in overtime “which was not

properly documented.” The “hours

reported as being worked on hand written time sheets did not match

the documentation supplied to the payroll department.”

The overtime was charged to Striving Readers, a U.S. Department of

Education program that is designed to improve reading skills

for middle and high school students.

The School Board said in the report

that it is reviewing its overtime and supplemental pay policies and

reminding administrators

“of guidelines concerning any extra pay for employees.” Bruchhaus

said officials are working on overtime logs that would require

employees to certify what they are working on every 15 to 30

minutes.

He said the audit also made several suggestions to improve efficiency. One concerned some copies of contracts that were “signed

by employees other than the Superintendent and the Board President.”

The School Board responded, saying all

administrators and department heads will be reminded that contractually

binding signatures

must be from the superintendent or board president. A cumulative

file of contracts signed will be maintained in the superintendent’s

office.

“It’s much more simple for an auditing firm to analyze those contracts if we have them all in one folder,” Bruchhaus said.

The report also said the School Board

has no procedures “in place for inspection of work performed by an

outside vendor.”

A report of work orders in the maintenance department listed more

than “350 vendors who were paid a total of over $6 million,”

something Bruchhaus attributed to contracting more work out to

vendors.

“Over the last few years, our maintenance staff has gone from 75 down to 45, with some workers retiring or leaving,” he said.

“As we have outsourced more stuff, the need has arisen to have a process in place.”

Bruchhaus said the board has obtained

permission to receive requests for proposals for electrical, plumbing

and general maintenance

work in the school system. The workers will have to submit

credentials, hourly rates and a markup on parts in the proposal.

Bruchhaus said the audit firm will check by June 30, the end of the fiscal year, to see if the School Board has corrected

issues listed in the report.