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BOE adopts policy on group audits

McDuffie County School Board members recently adopted a policy requiring parent and booster organizations to go through annual financial audits. School Superintendent Jim LeBrun said no wrong-doing was suspected and no organization is in question.

"It's just a safety net," he said at the November regular meeting. "So all speculations and rumors can be put to rest."

Some of the stipulations of the policy include:

-- parent and booster organizations shall operate under a written constitution and by-laws approved by the membership;

-- club officers and duties of each will be defined in the written guidelines;

-- the principal shall serve on the Executive Committee of the parent or booster organizations and make recommendations from the school staff regarding the needs of the school or program to the committee;

-- parent and booster organizations shall develop a yearly budget and adopt general accounting procedures to assure compliance with school district guidelines;

-- all fund raising and building or capital projects to be conducted by the organization must be approved by the principal and BOE in advance;

-- a quarterly report of financial transactions must be submitted to the principal;

-- and the constitution and by-laws of the organization shall require an annual financial audit to be performed by a private accounting firm or McDuffie County School District employees, and the findings of the audit shall be presented to the superintendent and BOE no later than Dec. 15 of each year.

A motion to approve the policy was made by board member Bob Smith, with a second by Rick McCorkle and the vote passed unanimously at last Thursday night's meeting. Board members Ella Mae Samuels and Dorothy Hart were not present to vote.

Mr. LeBrun said the policy would go into effect immediately, "but we will give leeway on the Dec. 15 deadline for this year, and it will be due by end of school year."

Fundraisers of school teams and teacher-led clubs are subject to rules and internal audits already, Mr. LeBrun said.

During discussion on the policy, Mr. Smith asked about the legality of organizations holding raffles. Mr. LeBrun said all raffles "are off unless approved through the proper channels," which includes a license through the sheriff's office.

Web posted on Thursday, November 19, 2009

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