Schools audit finds $1 million stowed in food fund

Published 1:01 pm Wednesday, March 7, 2007

By Staff
Officials caution that report remains a ‘very rough draft’
By NIKIE MAYO, News Editor
An efficiency audit of Beaufort County Schools turned up a $1 million nutrition account that has been accumulating money for several years, according to a draft report recently released.
The school system — termed Beaufort County Public Schools in the audit — should be reimbursing its general fund with a portion of that money, according to the draft audit. The audit was commissioned by the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners.
During fiscal year 2005-2006, an accounting entry was made creating a “receivable” in the general fund to do a reimbursement, but “the transfer was never made,” according to the audit. An equity-fund transfer from one fund to the other “can be made to correct this error,” the draft audit reads.
Commissioners requested the audit last October, hiring Evergreen Solutions, a Florida-based consulting firm, to do the job. A version of the audit, which County Manager Paul Spruill termed a “first, very rough draft,” was released last week. In the draft, both the school system and the county manager made written comments about the audit’s findings.
The firm responded that further analysis would be done before a final audit is released.
Of the built-up cash, $400,000 will be used to help construct the new John Small Elementary School, according to a proposal the school board presented commissioners at a joint meeting last week.
Using a portion of that money to help pay for the new school building didn’t go over well with Commissioner Ed Booth, although he voted to proceed with building the school.
School board Chairman Robert Belcher said the school board “takes the audit very seriously.”