Audit of Lowndes County BOE finds inadequate internal controls, former principal and school secretary required to pay back charges

Published 4:30 pm Friday, September 5, 2014

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By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
An audit report on the Lowndes County Board of Education for Oct. 2, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013 released Friday, include findings related to inadequate internal controls for disbursement of funds at the local Schools; inadequate internal controls for receipting at local schools; and inadequate internal controls for depositing of funds receipted at local schools.
Also according to the audit report the former principal at Central High, Peggy Grant, and the former school secretary, Dorothy Williams, are required to pay back charges.
The Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts released the audit report.
Schools included in the findings are Central High and Hayneville Middle School and persons “jointly charged” to pay back funds are Williams and Grant.
“I am disappointed in the results,” said Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd. “We’ve had excellent audits for the last eight years without any major blemish.”
He said, “We’ve provided training in the past for our principals and our school secretaries and will continue to do so in the future.”
When asked if concerns in the audit have been addressed so that they do not occur again, Boyd said, “We have.”
However, he said, “A police officer has radar and can actually give us a ticket. It still doesn’t stop some people from speeding.”
Among the findings in the audit report were:
* “At Central High, a check in the amount of $350 was written to the now former principal for startup change on Nov. 20, 2012. The cash was not re-deposited into the school’s bank account until March 18, 2014 when questioned by the examiner.”
*”At Central High School, there appeared to be numerous alterations to receipts in the master receipt book.”
*”At Hayneville Middle School, teachers did not deposit their receipts in a timely manger. Instances were noted where funds collected were held between six and nine days.”
*”At Central High School, receipts totaling $1,951 could not be traced back to deposits resulting in changes against the former principal and secretary.”
According to the report, “The Chief Examiner is of the opinion that the former school secretary and the former school principal have failed to show just cause why the unpaid charges should not be paid. Therefore, relief from these unpaid charges is accordingly denied.” Also, “The charges remain due and unpaid and, as a result, this report will be certified to the attorney general for collection.”
The total of $1,951 is “jointly charged” to Dorothy Williams, (former) school secretary and Peggy Grant, (former) school principal.

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