Guam – The Office of Public Accountability has released the Guam Department of Education’s (GDOE) audit for fiscal year 2018. The audit identified internal control issues related to equipment and real property management.
Auditors reported that 71 items, totaling $75,000 could not be located during a physical inventory. Moreover, the audit identified around 612 stolen items, costing around $485,000.
Auditors recommended GDOE to revisit internal control procedures over the safeguarding of property. These include enforcing policies related to fixed asset management.
According to the OPA, GDOE disagreed with the finding stating that it has controls in place to safeguard assets against loss, damage or theft as well as investigate any items lost or stolen.
According to a release, the department is in the process of taking action to address the deficiency. They have also strengthened internal controls and developed new Standard Operating Procedures.
In FY 2018, total revenue was $319.2 million, a $13.4 million decrease compared to FY 2017.
Local appropriations decreased by $13.4 million and federal grants and contributions decreased by $3.3 million in FY 2018.
Total GDOE expenditures decreased by $33.6 million, going from $363.6 million in FY 2017 to $330 million in FY 2018.
Decreases were largely due to local budgetary reductions under the FY 2018 Fiscal Realignment Plan, which resulted in a reduction of operational costs.
In addition, there were decreases in lease expenses and net pension liability. Charter school expenditures also decreased by $579,000.
GDOE remains a high-risk grantee by the USDOE for the past 16 years.
But there has been progress as Guam Education Board Chairman Mark Mendiola said, “The fact that three specific conditions imposed on our department since the early 2000’s have been removed is a significant achievement.”
Mendiola added, “Now, with six consecutive clean audits, we are well on our way to sustaining the momentum needed to continually demonstrate our department’s progress as we push to remove our high risk designation.”
For six years in a row, the Guam Department of Education has received a clean opinion on its financial statements and its compliance with federal programs.