Audit Committee Authority
The Board of Education of the Pine Bush Central School District unanimously adopted a resolution at its December 13, 2005 meeting establishing an audit committee to assist the Board of Education in the oversight of the internal and external audit functions. The requirement to create an audit committee was established by Education Law § 2116-c (4). According to § 2116-c (4), the role of an audit committee shall be advisory and any recommendations it provides to the Board shall not be substituted for any required review and acceptance by the Board of Education. The District’s original resolution also states that the district’s audit committee shall consist of the Board of Education as a “whole” in accordance with Chapter 263 of the Laws of 2005. Any recommendations established by the audit committee will be brought forward and acted upon during regular session of the Board of Education. In July 2007, the Board of Education decided to change the makeup of the committee. Effective with the 2007-08 school year, the audit committee will consist of three (3) board members and approximately four (4) community members.
The Board of Education of the Pine Bush Central School District has established an audit committee to provide independent assistance to the Board in the oversight of the following matters:
- Assist the Board in providing oversight of the internal and external audit functions, including the appointment of the internal and external auditors.
- Oversee the competitive Request for Proposal Process (RFP) used to solicit quotations for the District’s annual external audit.
- Review the scope, plan and coordination of the external audit.
- Review corrective action plans and necessary improvement based on audit findings and recommendations received from external and internal auditors.
- Provide a communications link between the external and internal auditors and the Board.
The audit committee will provide oversight of the internal and external audit functions, oversee the competitive request for proposal (RFP) process for the external auditor, oversee the competitive request for proposal (RFP) process for the internal auditor, review the scope and plan of the external audit, review corrective action plans and make necessary improvements based upon recommendations from internal and external auditors.
Composition and Requisite Skills
The Pine Bush Central School District Audit Committee is comprised of three (3) Board members and approximately four (4) community members. Each audit committee member will serve a one-year term.
The audit committee members collectively should possess the expertise and experience in accounting, auditing, financial reporting and school district finances needed to understand and evaluate the school district’s financial statements, the external audit of those statements and the district’s internal audit activities. Accordingly, the audit committee’s members should:
- Possess the requisite skills and experience necessary to understand technical and complex financial reporting issues.
- Have the ability to communicate with, and offer advice and assistance to, public finance officers and auditors.
- Be knowledgeable about internal controls, financial statement audits and management/ operational audits.
- Seek explanations and advice from the internal auditor, external auditor, internal claims auditor, school business official, and any other staff and consultants as needed to provide an understanding of the technical and complex financial reporting requirements and allow for informed and comprehensive decisions about internal controls, financial statement audits and management/operational audits.
Duties and Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of the Pine Bush Central School District Aud it Committee include the following:
External Audit Focus
- Recommend selection of the external auditor to the Board of Education.
- Meet with the external auditor prior to commencement of the audit to review the engagement letter.
- Review and discuss with the external auditor any risk assessment of the district’s fiscal operations developed as part of the auditor’s responsibilities under governmental auditing standards for a financial statement audit and federal single audit standards, if applicable.
- Review the external auditor’s assessment of the district’s system of internal controls.
- Receive and review the draft annual audit report and accompanying draft management letter and, working directly with the external auditor, assist the Board of Education m interpreting such documents.
- Make a recommendation to the Board of Education on accepting the annual audit report.
- Review any corrective action plan developed by the school district and assist the Board of Education in the implementation of such plans.
Internal Audit Focus
- Make recommendations to the Board of Education regarding the appointment of the internal auditor.
- Assist in the oversight of the internal audit function.
- Review the annual internal audit plan to ensure that high risk areas and key control activities are periodically evaluated and tested.
- Review the results of internal audit activities and significant recommendations and findings of the internal auditor.
- Monitor implementation of the internal auditor’s recommendations by management.
- Provide input on the performance evaluation of the internal auditor.
- Hold regularly scheduled meetings.
- Administer other related duties as prescribed by the Board of Education .
- Review and revise the Audit Committee Charter.
The membership duties of the Pine Bush Central School District Audit Committee include the following:
- Good Faith – Members of the Committee shall perform their duties in good faith, in a manner they reasonably believe to be in the best interest of the Committee and the District with such care as a generally prudent person in a similar position would use under similar circumstances.
- Independence – The following individuals would be precluded from being an audit committee member:
- Someone currently or previously employed by the District during the past five years.
- Someone currently or previously providing services contractually to the District during the past five years.
- Someone of the immediate family (husband, wife & any children and their spouses) or close family member (parent, sibling or non-dependent child) of an individual who is, or has been in any of the past five years, employed by the district, providing services contractually to the District or contractually related to the District as a board member or an administrator.
- Someone who is a partner in, a controlling owner or an executive of, any for-profit business to which the district made, or from which the district received, payments that are or have been significant [$10,000] to the district for the for-profit business entity in any of the past five years.
- Confidentiality – During the exercise of duties and responsibilities, the Committee members may have access to confidential information. The Committee shall have an obligation to the district to maintain the confidentiality of such information.
- Oath of Office – All non-board members, who are members of the audit committee, should be administered the district’s oath of office by the District Clerk.
Meetings and Notification
The Pine Bush Central School District Audit Committee shall meet a minimum of two (2) times each year. An agenda of each meeting should be clearly determined in advance and the audit committee should receive supporting documents in advance, for reasonable review and consideration. Any member of the Board of Education, who is not a member of the audit committee, may attend audit committee meetings if authorized by a resolution of the Board.
The audit committee shall prepare minutes of each meeting. At a minimum, the minutes will include the following:
- Copies of the meeting agenda
- Date, attendance and location of the meeting
- Brief summary of the topics discussed
- Copies of materials discussed or presented at the meeting
- A record of all actions or recommendations agreed to by the committee
All decisions shall be reached by consensus of those members present at the meeting. Consensus is defined as an acceptable solution that all can agree to support. If consensus cannot be reached, polling of the voting membership will take place and simple majority will rule. A quorum constitutes a simple majority of the total membership and meetings will not be conducted unless a quorum is present.
The Pine Bush Central School District Audit Committee has the duty and responsibility to report its activities to the Board of Education. Periodic written reports of audit committee activities are an important communication link between the audit committee and the Board on key decisions and responsibilities. The Audit committee’s reporting requirements are to:
- Report on the scope and breadth of committee activities so that the Board of Education is kept informed of its work.
- Provide minutes of meetings and work sessions which clearly record the actions and recommendations of the Committee.
- Report on their review of the District’s draft annual audit report and accompanying management letter and their review of significant findings and recommendations of the internal auditor.
- Report on suspected fraud or abuse or material defects in the internal control systems.
- Report on material or significant non-compliances with laws or District policies and regulations.
- Report on any other matters that should be disclosed to the Board of Education.
Review of the Charter
The Pine Bush Central School District Audit Committee shall assess and report to the Board of Education on the adequacy of this Charter no less than an annual basis or as necessary. Charter modifications, as recommended by the Audit committee, should be presented to the Board of Education in writing for their review and action will be acted upon by the Board of Education.
- Charter recommended by Audit Committee & Submitted & Accepted by BOE – 11/14/06 Meetings Revised Charter reviewed by the B. OE. – February 26, 2008
- Revised Charter reviewed by Audit Committee – August 4, 2009; Submitted to BOE at August 25, 2009 meeting with no changes recommended; BOE Accepted Audit Committee’s recommendation for no changes at this time.
- Charter reviewed by Audit Committee on January 27, 2014 meeting with no changes recommended; Submitted to BOE to on April 8, 2014.
- Charter reviewed by Audit Committee on June 20, 2016. Submitted to BOE on June 28, 2016.
- Charter for review by Audit Committee on June 18, 2018 !Submit to BOE on June 26, 2018
- Charter for review by Audit Committee on April 29, 2019/ Submit amended to BOE on May 14, 2019
- Charter for review by Audit Committee on October 5, 2020, submit to BOE October 13, 2020 (actual Nov 24, 2020)