Days Before Referendum, State Auditor Releases Follows Up on IRS - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Days Before Referendum, State Auditor Releases Follows Up on IRSD Investigation

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SELBYVILLE, Del. - Days before a second expense referendum, the Delaware State Auditor has released new information on the Indian River School District's financial processes in the months since the original audit.

The follow up commends the district's "status of corrective action taken" since the audit, including implementing new travel policies and personal reimbursement processes. The follow up says IRSD now has multiple levels of review and supporting documentation of purchases, but notes that the follow up review could not be conducted in accordance with Government Auditing Standards due to the short window of time since the last audit:

AOA commends the District's efforts in developing policies and procedures addressing control issues in such a short amount of time. It is essential we give the District time to fully implement these policies and procedures before our office can perform an effective audit of their implementation. The  District is discussing the possibility of conducting internal audits to ensure all financial transactions are in compliance with district, state and federal regulations. 

The report also covers steps taken to address local salary decisions, saying while the state auditor's office suggests that the district develop a local salary scale to alleviate questions about salary disparities, the district decided to determine local salaries based on individual performance and experience after "careful consideration."

Interim Indian River Superintendent Mark Steele says they took the report seriously, and had a message for voters ahead of Thursday's referendum.

"Right now, we have our house in order. We know the direction we want to go," he tells WBOC. "We're very confident that direction will be a direction that the community is going to be happy with. They need to know that whoever is going to be leading this district is gonna be truthful and honest and move this district in the direction it needs to go." 

Steele promises more community involvement and oversight in district activities in the future.

Some voters tell WBOC that despite the new information, they would still be voting no on Thursday.

"I don't believe that the money will be going to the children," says Louis DiSanto of Georgetown. "I think it will be wasted by the government." 

But Norm Sakers says he's voting yes so long as he knows exactly where the money is going.

"Anything you can do to improve the education inside the school," he says. "To make sure the students are going to benefit from the referendum, that's what I believe is most important." 

A breakdown of how the district plans to use the proposed referendum money can be found here.

A full copy of the state auditor's follow up can be found here.

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