Cameron School Board issued opinion on audit

By By John Guidroz / American Press

The independent auditor for the Cameron Parish School Board issued an unqualified opinion on its 2012-2013 audit, the highest

rating a public entity can receive, School Superintendent Stephanie Rodrigue said Tuesday.

The audit, conducted by the firm

Kolder, Champagne, Slaven and Company, was made available Monday on the

Louisiana Legislative

Auditor’s website. One issue mentioned that the School Board “does

not have adequate internal controls” over preparing financial

statements “in accordance with generally accepted accounting

principles.”

Rob Carter, a certified public

accountant with the firm, told the Cameron Pilot earlier this month that

it could cost as much

as $150,000 per year for small school boards to afford the staff

to do the report. According to the audit report, the School

Board “has evaluated the cost versus benefit” of hiring more staff

and agreed “to continue to outsource this task to its independent

auditors.”

The audit also found that the School

Board had not complied with a section of the open-meetings law that

requires minutes

of meetings to be published within 20 days after the meeting.

Rodrigue said the board was unaware of the law and has since

taken action, publishing minutes within 10 days after the meeting.

This is done even though the minutes have not been approved

by the School Board.

“Apparently, very few public entities are aware of the law,” she said.

Rodrigue said the School Board’s auditor brought the issue to members’ attention in August. She said the agendas are posted

online before each board meeting, even though it is not required. “There is not a lack of transparency as far as what was

going on at our meetings,” she said.

The rest of the audit contained no

major issues, according to Carter. He said the independent auditor “acts

as an arm of the

legislative auditor for public entities and reports directly to

the legislative auditor.” The legislative auditor must approve

an independent auditor for it to be contracted with a public

entity.

According to the audit, the School Board operates four schools, and the total enrollment is 1,239 students.

Online: www.lla.state.la.us.