Meigs County -
Auditor of State Mary Taylor released the performance audit of the Meigs Local School District. The audit outlines several recommendations that, if fully implemented, could potentially save the district nearly $1.5 million annually. These recommendations, along with efforts school officials have already taken to reduce costs, are designed to help the district achieve a sustainable, balanced budget.
The district qualified for a state-funded performance audit last year when district officials released a financial forecast revealing a potential deficit of $3.47 million by fiscal year 2013.
“Performance audits provide valuable recommendations to state and local government entities, such as the Meigs Local School District, with advice about how to improve operations and reduce costs,” Taylor said. “I encourage school officials to implement the recommendations made in the performance audit to help eliminate projected deficits outlined in the district’s five-year financial forecast.”
The performance audit of the Meigs Local School District reviewed financial systems, human resources, facilities, transportation and food services. The report identifies certain noteworthy practices, which include:
• Participating in certain discount programs to reduce Bureau of Workers’ Compensation costs by 57.7 percent
• Sharing the cost of special education programs with neighboring school districts to reduce spending per student by 27.4 percent
• Implementing a team approach to teaching gifted students to reduce gifted services spending by 42.8 percent while serving nearly four times as many students
The audit also outlines several recommendations district officials should consider in order to potentially save as much as $1,492,000 annually. The recommendations include:
• Renegotiating certain employee benefits
Aligning health care contributions to regional averages and industry benchmarks could help put more money into district classrooms and help offset the growing cost of health insurance premiums
• Developing a formal staffing plan and adjusting staffing levels to mirror peer averages and statewide standards
Implementing a formal staffing plan could help the district balance staffing in relation to program needs
• Implementing an energy conservation program
Developing a strategy to reduce energy consumption could help reduce associated costs
Performance audits report on the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations through peer comparisons and benchmarking to industry standards. A performance audit is a valuable tool for agencies seeking to improve operations, identify cost savings and make better use of existing resources.
Since taking office, Taylor has released 59 performance audits outlining more than 2,100 recommendations for improvements. Those recommendations, if fully implemented, could result in potential cost savings of more than $103 million annually.
A copy of the complete audit is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.
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 866-FRAUD-OH (866-372-8364). Since taking office, Taylor has identified more than $20.4 million in public funds that were handled improperly, spent illegally or stolen and must be repaid.