Pa. Auditor General releases finding of Harrisburg School District audit

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Auditor General released his department’s final real-time audit for the Harrisburg School District late Tuesday morning.

“I want to recognize the progress that’s been made to put the district back on track, put its past behind it and improve for the future,” DeFoor said. “The district’s current leadership team has implemented lasting changes and continual process improvements that will benefit students and taxpayers.”

Auditor General Timothy Defoor has already released his findings for a number of other school districts throughout the state.

Defoor was joined by district officials when he released his audit of the district this morning.

The state Department of Education placed the Harrisburg school district into receivership back in 2019. Former state Auditor General Eugene Dispasquale launched a real-time audit of the district shortly before that time.

DeFoor said his department’s final update focuses on the district’s compliance with the PDE audit’s recommendations to improve how it manages independent contractors. The PDE audit had found that the district collectively paid over $210,000 more than the board-approved contracts amounts as a result of poor monitoring

“Our audit team found that the district put stronger internal controls in place to monitor independent contractors and related costs,” DeFoor said. “These new layers of accountability include a one-year limit on service contracts to make sure that a contractor’s performance is evaluated annually.

According to the press release, the district has tried to hire permanent employees to provide needed services where feasible.

“Controlling costs is essential because it allows more resources to reach the classroom, which is also what taxpayers expect and deserve,” DeFoor added.

But there was still no accountability for various things including tracking employee vacation or sick leave. He added that changes made were likely resulting in millions of dollars in savings.

“Although this real-time audit has ended, my department will again review Harrisburg School District at some point in the future as part of our periodic audits of all school districts,” DeFoor said. “We will continue to make sure that the interests of students and taxpayers are protected.”

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