At the 2015 Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (“PASBO”) Annual Conference, the Pennsylvania Department of Auditor General (“AG”) reviewed its new “resource allocation” process for audits of Local Education Agencies (“LEA”). LEAs include school districts, vocational schools, intermediate units and charter schools. The AG’s stated goals for its audits of LEAs are to determine if children are being educated effectively and whether schools are financially stable and safe.
To accomplish these goals, the AG wants to reach every LEA during a four-year cycle, and is prioritizing its engagements with a ranking approach. Level One engagements are identified by the AG as high-priority and would include a two-year follow-up review. Level Two engagements are considered medium-priority for the AG, and Level Three are low-priority engagements.
The AG’s rankings are based on select academic and financial performance data factors at each LEA. The purpose of these rankings is to establish a methodology to better allocate the AG’s resources, focusing on high-priority audits more frequently and to issue timelier audit reports.
Furthermore, the AG is shifting its objectives when auditing LEAs. Previous objectives from the AG were compliance-related and included certification, membership, transportation, MOUs and reimbursements. The new objectives of the AG’s audits concentrate on academic performance, financial stability, governance, contracting and hiring practices at LEAs, ultimately in an effort to identify those LEAs that need the most help.
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