A 49-page audit of the Howard County Public School System was released Friday, outlining more than a dozen instances auditors found of the school district mismanaging its money.
The school system disagrees with much of the report, calling it a “disservice” to them and to the state.
The audit examines the management of finances, technology, food service programs and even bus routes and found 15 areas where it believes the school system needs improvement.
Auditors found that Howard County Public Schools awarded more than $12 million in contracts for projects without using competitive bids, and failed to adequately secure its computer network to protect critical information. Salaries for 142 administrative employees hadn’t been approved, according to the audit, with insufficient documentation of payroll and personnel transactions.
While the district did agree with a few of the recommendations, it says the audit wasn’t accurate of what’s being done at the schools and that they’re in compliance with the law.
In a letter to the office of legislative audits, the school said in part, “The audit delivered limited value at best and diverted attention away from being meaningful and important school system initiatives and operations.”
To view the complete report, click this link.