Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gloucester, VA School Board - : Asset Management

Stopping School Corruption:  A Manual For Taxpayers.  By;  Armand A. Fusco, Ed.D.

Part one in a series of 10.  What we can learn from others.  From the Yankee Institute For Public Policy.

About the Yankee Institute for Public Policy 

The Yankee Institute for Public Policy, Inc. is a nonpartisan educational and research organization
founded more than two decades ago. Today, the Yankee Institute’s mission is to “promote
economic opportunity through lower taxes and new ideas for better government in Connecticut.”

Question 1.
Is there a comprehensive list of assets and an independent system in place to
regularly document the existence of each asset? Failure to have a list of
monitored assets is an indication that the school district does not believe it is
important to manage school resources responsibly.

Background: Most schools will not have an asset-management system in
place; and even if they do, it is probably not monitored effectively. If assets are
missing or stolen, they are simply replaced using taxpayer dollars. It is
unlikely that there is any accounting in budget-preparation documents that
asset replacements are needed because they cannot be located.

Proposed Solution: It is important to have a verification system in place
that documents the existence of each asset at the end of each year, and the
reason(s) for any missing asset(s). However, this must be done by independent,
on-the-spot inspections -- it cannot be done internally -- by a forensic
auditing committee (FAC) or taxpayer group.

The proper way to develop an asset-management system without cost is
to have a FAC/taxpayer group go through each purchase order to determine
what has been bought over the years. Using purchase-order documentation is
the only way to develop a credible list. A list prepared by any administrator
should never be accepted as accurate unless it has been verified by all
purchase-order numbers. The assets should then be identified by serial
numbers or other designations. Then the location of each asset needs to be
identified, and the person/department responsible indicated. In addition, the
board should be required to submit as part of any budget which asset items
being requested are the result of loss resulting from theft or other reasons.

Having an effective asset-management system in place will, in all
likelihood, document that all the assets will not be accounted for; further, the
only logical explanation for many missing items will be that they have been
stolen. This evidence should provide substantial and convincing evidence that
preventive action must be taken to better manage school resources.

This is part one of 10 for what we need here in Gloucester, Virginia to ensure we are being properly represented and not dealing with any serious issues.
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