Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lee's Summit R-7 School District: Findings in the audit of the Lee's Summit R-VII School District

Lee's Summit R-7 School District: Findings in the audit of the Lee's Summit R-VII School District

Findings in the audit
of the Lee's Summit R-VII School District

The district did not competitively bid several purchases
in accordance with district administrative procedure and state law, including
travel services ($29,172), installation of technology equipment ($21,866), and
printing ($20,357), and did not always document in writing single feasible
justifications. District administrative procedures
require competitive, advertised, sealed bids for construction of facilities
costing $15,000 and above and require bids for individual non-construction
purchases projected to cost $5,000 or more and quotes for non-construction
purchases under
$5,000. The district does not always document the
evaluation and selection of architectural/construction management services for
non-bond issue projects as required by board policy and state law. The district
has not periodically solicited proposals for some professional services and has
used the same vendors for several years. The district has used the same auditor
for 15 years, diversity initiative provider for 6 years, and primary legal counsel
for 4 years without periodically soliciting proposals.

The district does not have written agreements with the
entities providing legal services or the communications audit, and district
officials did not sign an education services contract for the 2012-2013 school
year until March 28, 2013. The district pays $25,000 to the Lee's Summit
Development Council for membership, but the council's
website indicates maximum membership benefits are available for $10,000, and it
is unclear what additional benefits the district receives for the additional

The district subsidizes a significant portion of the
operating expenses of the Lee's Summit Educational Foundation, a legally
separate not-for-profit corporation, and has not entered into a written
agreement with the foundation. The foundation's employees, its Director, and
Administrative Assistant are housed in the district's main administration
building free of charge, and the district pays their salaries and fringe
benefits and other foundation expenses even though they spend only 10 percent
of their time working on district activities.

The district did not adequately monitor contract
payments, and a contractor overcharged the district $4,095 in the 2012-2013
school year. The contractor subsequently reimbursed the district. The district
does not competitively bid significant changes to construction projects and
does not always timely approve construction change orders. The district paid a $25,340
change order for a paving project at Lee's Summit North High School that was
not included in the vendor's original bid proposal, and the
Board did not approve and district officials did not sign
the change order until at least a week after the work was complete. The
district paid a $60,616 change order for carpet removal and replacement at
Meadow Lane Elementary that was not included in the vendor's original bid
proposal and approved by the Board. The district does not monitor purchasing
card transaction limits, and limits for some individuals are excessive. The
district has over 900 purchasing cards assigned to various personnel with
monthly limits ranging from $1,000 to $600,000.

The district has historically paid a vehicle allowance to
several employees who use their personal vehicles to conduct official business
within the district, but, other than for the superintendent, the district does
not include vehicle allowances in employee contracts, and the Board does not
the allowances as additional compensation. The district
has not performed an analysis to ensure the vehicle allowances meet the needs
of these positions or are reasonable. Using the IRS-allowed mileage rate, the superintendent
would need to travel over 26,000 business-related miles to earn the $15,000
vehicle allowance he would have been paid for the year ended June 30, 2014.
This number of miles is considerably more than the 4,284 business-related miles
he drove his district-provided vehicle during
calendar year 2012. The Board indicated in its response
to our recommendation that it will no longer provide the superintendent with
the vehicle allowance.

The district purchased approximately 51 acres of land in
December 2012 for $775,000 to be used for the district's fourth middle school,
but it did not obtain an independent appraisal, so it has less assurance it
paid the fair value of the property.

The district's superintendent at June 30, 2013, was Dr.
David McGehee. His annual compensation was $258,660, which included a deferred compensation
allowance of $19,716, family medical insurance of $15,377, and association
expenses of $12,000. He was also provided a district vehicle for business and
personal use. The superintendent's compensation is established by the Board.

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