Audit tough on Marengo County school system
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2003
Marengo County Schools Superintendent Luke Hallmark has spent the last few weeks ensuring state officials that financial discrepancies in the system have been fixed.
On April 18, the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts released an audit of the county school system and found there were numerous ways the system needed to better keep its books.
On one count, Hallmark admitted he had spent money the wrong way, though there was no theft or impropriety taking place within the system.
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That finding by the state said the Marengo County Schools misused money given to the system from the Children First Fund.
Hallmark said he contacted state officials about how the money was spent, but there was miscommunication about the way the grant money could be used in the school system.
Among other findings in the audit were that receipts for expenditures were not properly kept on some accounts; the purchase of four schools buses was not bid; and that daily attendance records did not support attendance information submitted by the Board to the State Department of Education for Marengo High School.
While the state auditors found numerous discrepancies in bookkeeping duties in the system, Hallmark has already submitted a corrective plan for the problems.
He has held meeting with school principals and bookkeepers to ensure the problems addressed by the state are complete. As for the school bus purchases, Hallmark said his staff has corrected the problem.