Jun 28, 2007

Seattle school payroll to join 20th century

It took this...
Last fall, district officials discovered a Nova Alternative High School teacher allegedly adding overtime to her signed time sheets — something she had been doing since 1992, according to the district. Of the $179,000 the district believes she stole, $120,000 was in the past five years.
...to make this happen...
This fall, the district will launch a new computer system that links its payroll and financial systems, and it is hiring an internal auditor, reorganizing its human resources and payroll departments and training managers to better monitor their budgets.
...despite this.
The state auditor recommended in 2001 that the district cut off employees' access to their signed time sheets, records show. The state made the same recommendation in 2002. And in 2003, 2004 and 2005, audits continued to warn that the district's shoddy payroll system put funds at risk. Auditors pointed out smaller losses: $1,800 in 2003-04, $12,000 in 2004-05.
To be fair:
Despite the findings, Spencer said the district is in good financial shape. She pointed to an audit of the district's financial statements over the same time period. For the second year in a row, that report found no problems. Standard & Poor's and Moody's both recently raised the district's bond ratings — another sign of the district's financial stability, Spencer said.
Still, you have to be amazed that, in 2007, the district is just now linking its payroll and financial systems via computer. And I thought my district was slacking.

Update: Ryan points out how modernization has foundered in the LA Unified School District.

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