Highland County -
State Auditor Mary Taylor released the performance audit of Hillsboro City School District today. The audit indicates that district officials have taken great strides to enhance operations but makes additional recommendations administrators should consider as they seek financial stability. If fully implemented, the recommendations listed in the report could save nearly $1.4 million annually.
“I applaud school administrators for taking proactive steps to improve operational efficiency,” Taylor said. “This performance audit is yet another tool that district officials should use in their continuing efforts to achieve financial stability.”
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) placed Hillsboro City School District in fiscal caution on September 30, 2005 automatically qualifying the district for a state funded performance audit. Since the declaration, district officials have worked with the ODE to overcome financial obstacles.
The audit also noted certain current practices worth recognition, such as:
• Centralizing telephone services on an internet based network to significantly reduce monthly phone charges
• Reducing printing costs by more than half by phasing out old ink jet printers and replacing them with laser printers.
The performance audit contains 38 recommendations that could save the district $1,372,829 million annually. The recommendations include:
• Developing a formal plan to address staffing needs
• Making certain reductions in current staffing levels
• Implementing separate dental and vision insurance plans to reduce costs
• Developing a 10-year enrollment forecast to help project future state funding amounts
• Developing a formal bus replacement plan and reducing current fleet by two busses
Performance audits report on the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations through peer comparisons and benchmarking to industry standards. A performance audit can be a useful tool for agencies seeking to improve operations, identify cost savings and make better use of existing resources.
The performance audit of Hillsboro City School District reviewed financial systems, human resources, facilities, transportation, food service and technology.
The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation. The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).
A copy of the audit is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.