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News Section: Local Government

Manatee School Board Reviews Auditor General Findings

Published Wednesday, December 11, 2013 12:04 am

BRADENTON – At Monday's Manatee School Board workshop and meeting, an update was given on the Florida Auditor General's report on the district's 2012-13 fiscal year. The presentation, which was given by Deputy Superintendent Don Hall, focused on 6 findings which were deemed to have a financial impact out of the 33 findings documented in the Auditor General's Report.


The lengthy Operational Audit report, released this week, states that several million dollars of capital funds may have not been spent appropriately by the district.


The workshop presentation advised that of the $9 million in total costs that were assigned to the district due to the errors - which would come out of the General Fund - over $6.5 million were from previous fiscal years going back to FY 2005-06. One of the findings in the presentation, as Hall noted, was from the 2008-09 fiscal year, when the district retained $728,815 of a Public Education Capital Outlay appropriation that was subject to reversion to the State.


Alluding to the errors made before Superintendent Rick Mills was hired, Hall said, "Many of us are new, so we can't really comment on what previous staff did. We're trying to not dwell on the past, but in this case the past is coming back to haunt us."


When asked during the presentation about individuals responsible for the errors noted, Hall said, "It's important for us to not go on a witch hunt," and that the majority of those people were no longer around. He added, "I don't know if we can, in an action report, say 'such and such was responsible for X' - we're putting it down as an organizational problem."


Hall advised the board that the district would be combing through each finding in the report to determine if the district has documentation that would refute the finding. He said that for the findings with financial impact, the cost of the finding could be mitigated if such documentation is found.

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