December 09, 2021
For Immediate Release
Announcements and Press Releases
(Baltimore, MD)—Baltimore City Public Schools takes seriously its role as a good steward of public resources, which includes ensuring the integrity of all financial transactions. Routine internal and external audits are an essential component of continuous improvement in management practices, and the district responds diligently to all audit findings.
With respect to the audit of financial management practices released today by the state’s Office of Legislative Audits (OLA), the district agrees in whole or in part with all the findings and has already taken steps to address them. Since the last OLA audit six years ago, concerted work to improve processes and practices has resulted in a decrease in total number of audit findings, and the district is under the threshold for concern about repeat findings.
In some cases, the state’s latest recommendations were implemented even prior to release of the report. This includes
- Improved processes for monitoring and verifying transactions in areas including payroll and procurement
- Stricter delineation of responsibilities for staff members in departments including human capital, payroll, procurement, and accounting
- New processes to ensure accuracy of payments and to recoup overpayments
- Enhanced data security
The findings in the OLA audit report are related to processes and are not weighted with respect to degree of seriousness, and the majority of findings carry limited implications for actual financial impact. In two areas where financial impact was noted, remediation is already underway: Processes that led to overpayment for taxi services for some students (e.g., homeless students and students with disabilities) have been corrected and recouping of overpayments is being pursued; incorrect calculation of overtime payments is being addressed in collaboration with the single union affected and in accordance with labor law.
City Schools will continue scrupulous and ongoing review of processes and practices to ensure that the public can have confidence that resources are being deployed efficiently and effectively to improve outcomes for Baltimore’s young people.