Sneak Preview: OIG Seeks Corrective Actions to Mass. LEA Audits

March 17, 2016 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment
xsass_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Single Audit Information Service.) The Education Department (ED), Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently recommended that ED’s Post Audit Group require the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to improve its oversight of local educational agencies (LEAs) by ensuring they take corrective actions in a timely and appropriate manner to resolve single audit findings.

In state Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, 265 Massachusetts LEAs reported having a single audit, and 28 of those LEAs had at least one repeat audit finding for three to four years from FYs 2010-2013, according to the OIG. These findings include failing to comply with cash management requirements; charging an incorrect indirect cost rate to federal education grants; lacking controls over equipment and fixed capital assets; improperly maintaining personnel time and effort certifications; and submitting late and inaccurate financial reports.

The OIG audit was conducted on Massachusetts LEA single audit findings from FYs 2011-2013, which were covered under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133. Subpart F of the uniform guidance applies to audits beginning on or after Dec. 26, 2014 (§200.110(b)).

The Audit and Compliance Unit at the state’s education department is responsible for overseeing the state’s LEA single audit resolution process, which includes identifying which LEAs are required to have a single audit performed, checking the audit reports for completeness and determining which unit should issue the management decision for each applicable finding. The OIG found deficiencies in Massachusetts’ oversight of LEA single audit resolution activities.

“In many cases, ESE did not identify and require appropriate corrective actions for LEAs to take to adequately resolve their findings,” the OIG explained. “ESE did not have a tracking process for individual LEA findings and did not follow up on the status of corrective actions for many of the repeat findings covered by our review. Additionally, ESE generally did not communicate effectively with LEA officials regarding audit resolution, and none of ESE’s management decision letters that we reviewed met all federal requirements for content.”

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site.)

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