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Riverhead school district creates corrective action plan following state audit

The Riverhead school district has failed to retrieve tax forms for some of its vendors and needs to establish “written policies or procedures for maintaining the vendor master file,” a new state audit has found.

The Office of the New York State Comptroller issued a press release Wednesday that included an audit of the school’s records between July 1, 2015 and March 31, 2017. The report also found “vendor names were duplicated multiple times and each of these vendors had from two to five different vendor identification numbers, representing 41 of the district’s active vendors.”

The 11-page report, which includes a response from the district, also found W-9 forms weren’t on file for all vendors.

The comptroller’s office recommends the district “develop and implement written procedures for maintaining the vendor master file, review the vendor master file to identify duplicate vendors and deactivate any unnecessary accounts, and ensure that W-9s are obtained from all vendors,” the report states.

According to a letter from Superintendent Aurelia Henriquez and Deputy Superintendent Sam Schneider dated Sept. 18, the district acknowledges “that in nine instances, we did not have a W-9 on file for a vendor. We note for factual purposes that six of these vendors are associations of high school athletic coaches, or similar fields, that exist to provide students with competitive or extra-curricular opportunities. Monies paid to these vendors, generally in the range of $102 to $360, are for entry fees for various meets and competitions. These organizations have no permanent staff and rotate leadership among the part-time coaches in the sport. Nevertheless, we accept the findings of your audit and we will be sure to collect the W-9 form for each and every vendor going forward.”

District officials also noted they were pleased that the audit stated, “We reviewed 102 invoices totaling approximately $478,000 from 66 vendors and found that all of these invoices represented valid claims.”

The district has sent letters to all of its vendors asking for W-9s and plans to present a corrective action plan to the school board this month.

District spokeswoman Jessica Novins said Ms. Henriquez and Mr. Schneider had no additional comment about the state’s report.

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