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Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Cameron School Board issued opinion on audit

Last Modified: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 11:30 AM

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.

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