Columbus - More than $6.3 million in potential savings were identified in a performance audit of the Youngstown City School District released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost. This comes on the heels of the district’s termination from fiscal emergency status last week, where Auditor Yost was on-hand to offer his congratulations to the school district.
“The Youngstown City School District could be a poster child for the benefits of performance audits,” Auditor Yost said. “They have already done the hard work to pull out of fiscal distress, and I applaud them for remaining vigilant in their search for continued efficiencies through this performance audit to guarantee the fiscal health of the district in the future.”
Performance audits are designed to provide cost savings, revenue enhancements, and/or efficiency improvements. During the course of the performance audit of the Youngstown City Schools, eight areas where savings could occur were defined, along with one recommendation where additional cost would be incurred, but would help to provide additional financial security in the long-term.
As outlined in the audit report, regular tracking of monthly energy costs would allow school officials to compare energy performance in all buildings and identify problems at individual facilities. Also, by joining the Ohio Schools Council purchasing consortium, the district could save $235,000 in energy costs in FY 2010-2011. Adjustments to the district’s health insurance program could yield savings of more than $1.7 million annually. Reductions in full-time staff levels to mirror the district’s peer average could result in savings of more than $2.3 million.
The audit report also recommended the district create an internal audit function. An internal auditor could assist in strategic planning and ensuring that controls are functioning properly. In doing so, school officials can be proactive in preventing the district from falling back into fiscal emergency in the future. The cost to the district of hiring a full-time internal auditor could be upwards of $106,000 per year in salary and benefits.
A full copy of this performance audit is available online.
The Auditor of State is one of five independently elected offices under
the Ohio Constitution. Auditor Yost’s office is responsible for auditing
over 5,600 state and local government agencies. Staff also works in
partnership with state and local governments to deal effectively with
financial, accounting and budgetary issues.