State Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset) called on Comptroller Alan Hevesi to support his legislation which would allow the Comptroller to set standards for school audits as well as providing his office a permanent funding source to pay for needed auditing staff. In 2004, Marcellino drafted S. 7492-A which would institute a five year audit cycle for school districts to be audited directly by the New York State Comptroller.
"There are two things that all New Yorkers agree upon when it comes to education. We want our children to receive the best education possible, and we want to ensure that our hard earned tax dollars are being spent wisely by our school districts. My legislation protects our taxpayers from fraud, while giving the Comptroller the ability to set standards for these school audits, plus it gives him the cash to hire the best and brightest auditors," said Senator Marcellino.
Senator Macellino’s school auditing bill was passed unanimously by the State Senate last year. The State Assembly took no action on the bill. The school audit legislation would not represent an unfunded mandate on New York State schools as it only utilizes funds which are already required to be spent on an outside firm audit. Senator Marcellino will be reintroducing the bill for consideration during this Legislative Session.
"The Comptroller has an opportunity to correct a problem plaguing too many school districts - faulty audits. He has an opportunity to truly lead by example by setting the standards for school audits, and giving accountants the guidelines he feels are needed to protect our taxpayers," continued Senator Marcellino.
"We have a bill which would protect our taxpayers. We have a report citing inadequate audits being done on school districts. However, bills and reports do not ensure that tax dollars for education are being spent in our class rooms not lining an unscrupulous administrator’s pocket. I challenge Comptroller Hevesi to join with me and work with the Assembly to do the right thing for our children and our taxpayers to pass this legislation," concluded Senator Marcellino.