East Hawaii News

DOE Annual Audit Completed

May 16, 2016, 10:14 AM HST
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DOE file photo.

DOE file photo.

The Annual Financial Audit for the Hawai’i State Department of Education for fiscal year 2015 has been completed and released.

In a release Monday morning, the DOE said findings in the audit showed that the “Department continues to be fiscally responsible in its oversight of its funds.”

Financial data for the DOE, the Hawai’i State Public Library System, and the Public Charter Schools were included in the combined audit.

“The report shows that our internal controls are appropriately structured to prevent and detect financial misstatements, which is key in ensuring that taxpayer monies are being monitored carefully and used efficiently,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We are pleased with the audit’s minimal findings, and that the Department remains on track with managing our finances.”

Within the financial audit, the DOE provides an objective third-party examination at the presentation of the Department’s financial statements for the most recent fiscal year. The audit is coordinated by the State of Hawai’i’s Office of the Auditor.

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DOH officials say that they have decided to maintain a separate, independent audit, rather than being incorporated with a single State of Hawai’i audit.

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N&K CPAs, Inc. reviewed the DOE’s $1.506 billion general fund appropriation for the fiscal year ending on June 30, and analyzed financial statements of the public school system including operating improvement and federal funds.

In total, the audit report is 69 pages.

“We have been working diligently to implement corrections to accounting procedures for findings in the 2015 report,” said Senior Assistant Superintendent and Chief Financial Officer Amy Kunz.

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The Office of Fiscal Service has already addressed the following:

In response to the findings that the DOE’s Facilities Development Branch should improve tracking and accounting for completed projects, FDB initiated a new procedure, in addition to the current process in place, to audit projects on a quarterly basis to ensure compliance.

A corrective action plan has been put in place for the DOE’s Data Governance and Analysis Branch to oversee the computing of the four-year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate for the DOE. This is based on the findings that record maintenance for documents for students excluded from the four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate needed improvement.

During the past few years, the DOE has increased its internal audits to identify areas in need of improved controls. This aligns with the DOE/Board of Education joint Strategic Plan, which calls for effective organizational, financial, human, and community resources in support of student success.

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