The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) has released its Annual Financial Audit for the 2015 fiscal year (FY 2015), which shows the Department continues to be fiscally responsible in its oversight of its funds. The audit looked at the combined financial data for HIDOE, the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) and the Public Charter Schools (PCS).
"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."
HIDOE's financial audit provides an objective third-party examination of the presentation of the Department's financial statements for the most recent fiscal year, coordinated by the State of Hawaii's Office of the Auditor. HIDOE elects to maintain a separate, independent audit, rather than being incorporated with a single State of Hawaii audit.
The 69-page audit report published by Honolulu-based N&K CPAs, Inc. reviewed HIDOE's $1.506 billion general fund appropriation for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, and analyzed financial statements of the public school system including operating, capital improvement and federal funds.
"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. The Office of Fiscal Service has already addressed the following:
- In response to the findings that HIDOE's Facilities Development Branch (FDB) 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 HIDOE's Data Governance and Analysis Branch (DGA) to oversee the computing of the four-year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR) for HIDOE. 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, HIDOE 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.
An action item regarding the audit was placed on the agenda for tomorrow's Board of Education General Board Meeting, which will be held at Aina Haina Public Library. The Audit Committee requested that the full Board consider whether to accept and approve the audit report as presented to the Committee.