SMITHVILLE — State Auditor Nicole Galloway announced Sept. 1 the results of a citizen-initiated audit of the Smithville R-II School District.
The auditor's office gave the district a "good" rating. While the district received the second highest audit rating possible, the auditor team did make recommendations to improve accounting controls and oversight in the district as well as compliance with the Sunshine Law.
"Petition audits allow citizens to engage in the process of ensuring government accountability," Galloway said. "This independent and thorough review of the operations and finances of the Smithville R-II School District has identified several areas for improvement that district leaders have committed to addressing."
The audit identified the need for improvement in district procurement; contract and disbursement practices, including periodically requesting and evaluating qualifications for architectural and construction management services; and ensuring all disbursements are a necessary and prudent use of district funds, states the audit report.
The audit also found instances of the Board of Education not complying with the Sunshine Law for open and closed meetings including having incomplete or insufficiently detailed board meeting minutes.
In addition, auditors found district employees received additional compensation during the 2019-20 school year for various purposes that were not included in board-approved salary schedules. District controls and procedures regarding donations, event sales, budget amendments and record preservation and retention also were found to need improvement.
The audit also found that the board has not developed procedures to adequately track some changes made to attendance records and to limit the time period when attendance changes can be made. District officials also do not review changes made to current school year attendance records, according to the audit.
Board member Denney Fales, who served as board president when the citizen-led petition began, told the Courier-Tribune Thursday, he had not had a chance to dig into the audit findings.
"However, I can say two things," he said. "First, the results of a good audit are from hard work at the district level. Two, the online ticketing that has now been implemented is an improvement from some of the findings that came out of the audit."
More details on auditing findings will be released as they become available.
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