Riverside-Brookfield High School board member Tim Walsh believes that District 208 ought to complete an internal controls audit to ensure the high school district’s funds are being managed properly.
He points to a policy on the books that is vague, at best, as the reason for the audit. The policy states the district ought to complete such an audit “from time to time” in addition to the audit of the district’s books required every year.
Before the district goes ahead and spends another $20,000 for a supplemental audit — that’s about what it spends annually to compete the fiscal year audit — we’d like the district to look at that policy and tighten it up.
What “from time to time” means is completely open to interpretation. The policy should provide clear direction. Certainly the board ought to be ensuring that taxpayers’ funds are being managed appropriately, but we’re not certain that the board needs to reinvent the wheel by commissioning a separate audit.
We’re wondering if an internal controls examination can be built into the audit that’s annually produced. That would certainly make sense and provide a safeguard against boards that, for whatever reason, don’t feel it’s “time” for an internal controls audit when one may indeed be necessary.
We can’t remember when, if ever, such an audit was performed. The language of the policy doesn’t require anything. One could argue that every 50 years fulfills the “from time to time” policy as appropriately as commissioning such an audit every other year.
Before making any decision on this latest matter, we’d ask that the RBHS board really examine the policy on the books and come up with a consistent way for it to be applied.