A New York State Comptroller’s Office audit of Otsego Northern Catskills Board of Cooperative Educational Services found the school did not properly monitor its fixed assets.
The report said auditors found 30 assets, which included security cameras, computers, tools and equipment, were not tagged; eight assets weren’t on the inventory list; three assets could not be found and seven assets were found in places different than where the inventory list said they were.
The report said, “Officials are responsible for ensuring that assets are protected from loss, inventory records are current, and assets can be easily located and properly disposed of.”
The report said ONC BOCES officials tag any piece of equipment that costs more than $1,000 and enter it into an inventory management software program. If the equipment is moved to a different location, a change form is submitted to the deputy superintendent’s office and it is updated in the software, the report said.
ONC BOCES contracted with Broome Tioga BOCES to maintain its information technology assets, the report said. “The IT assets tracked by BT BOCES employees are all required to have IT asset tags regardless of their value. IT assets that exceed the $1,000 threshold should appear on both inventory lists and have both types of tags,” the report said.
Auditors reviewed 76 assets worth about $293,100 to see if they were included on the inventory list and the IT inventory list, if applicable, in the school’s possession and properly tagged. Auditors found that 27 assets totaling almost $99,900, and three IT assets totaling almost $5,000 did not have the required tags. School officials told the auditors they “believed that tags were either not applied, had fallen off or were otherwise removed by students,” the report said.
The report said seven assets totaling more than $18,600 were not located where shown on the inventory list, but auditors were able to locate them elsewhere. Officials believe that employees did not submit change forms, the report said.
Eight assets — four computers and four security cameras — totaling more than $12,000 were not on the inventory list, the report said. Auditors said the school added them to the list when they were told about the omissions.
“Three assets on the inventory list totaling over $6,000 were not located, including a power over ethernet switch ($2,560), a yard-waste collection system for a tractor ($1,950) and a computer ($1,526),” the report said. “While officials believe that these items were disposed of without updating the inventory list, officials were unable to provide documentation to support they were approved for disposal. As a result, these items could be lost or may have been stolen.”
Two computers were on the inventory list, but not on the IT inventory list, the report said. “The BT BOCES Network Specialist said these assets were probably overlooked when the responsibility for tracking IT assets was transferred to BT BOCES in July 2019,” it said.
The audit recommended that the district should ensure accurate and up-to-date inventory and IT inventory lists; ensure all fixed assets valued at $1,000 or more be tagged; ensured disposed assets are deleted from the list and ensure discrepancies and changes are reported and recorded.
ONC BOCES Superintendent Catherine Hubner, responded in a letter that: staff will be trained on how to monitor inventory; a new form will be created for additions to the inventory; reconciliation of the fixed asset listing will be completed mid-year and at year-end; staff will be asked to verify inventory on an annual basis; the deputy superintendent will hold unannounced physical inventories in each department and IT staff will reconcile the technology inventory against technology purchase orders.