An eye opening report from the Richmond city auditor was released at Monday night’s school board meeting. The audit focused on nutrition services, training and development, and workers compensation.
Millions and millions of dollars are spent in these areas and auditors found some of it is not being tracked, monitored, or accounted for.The majority of the problems were found in workers compensation claims paid by the Richmond Public School System.
City auditors say the problem is RPS relies on a third party contractor to process the claims and no one in the school system is monitoring the company.
“We place tremendous reliance on using external vendors because we are not staffed to handle it in house,” said city auditor Ronald Hayes.
Some examples auditors found:
$18,921 of taxpayer money was spent at a hospital for something that should have cost $837.
$4522 was spent on an M.R.I. that could have been done for $600.
Over $12,000 of taxpayer money also went to give someone six stitches and three CT scans.
“I couldn’t believe we’re paying the fees on top of what we’re paying in workers comp to the third party contractor,” said Richmond school board member Kim Gray.
Others issues auditors found include school cafeteria managers who order, inventory, process, and serve food without answering or turning in documentation to anyone.
“The duties are not properly segregated so there is a risk or loss or theft of food in this process,” said city auditor Umesh Dalal.
Auditors also found the School System could save 100 thousand dollars by doing away with tuition reimbursement for teachers – something Henrico and Chesterfield schools have already done.
Some board members aren’t on board with the idea.
“If that discussion comes up, I would not be able to support that,” said board member Shonda Harris-Muhammed.
At the meeting, school administrators announced they have hired someone with experience in workers compensation to closely monitor claims.
Leaders have already implemented many of the auditor’s suggestions and plan to look at doing even more.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond