FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky State Auditor says Kenton County schools' out-of-state travel expenses were excessive.
State Auditor Adam Edelen released a review of the spending of the food service fund at the Kenton County School District, finding excessive travel and lax financial controls.
According to the auditor, since 2007, the Student Nutrition Department has spent at least $116,388 on out-of-state travel.
In 2009, 46 employees attended the same conference in Las Vegas, costing the district more than $40,000, according to the audit. Twenty-seven employees attended the same conference in Nashville in 2011, which cost the district more than $19,000.
The former Director of Food Services traveled to locations such as New York, Miami, Boston, Seattle, Napa Valley, and Japan, according to the review.
The Kenton County Board of Education agreed in its response to the review that it is unnecessary for large numbers of employees to travel to the same conference.
I am pleased the Kenton County Board of Education agrees with the analysis and has already begun taking steps to implement my recommendations," Edelen said.
The review was prompted after a citizen reported concerns about procurement, travel by district food service personnel, the use of take-home vehicles and other financial related issues. The report presents six findings and 36 recommendations to strengthen district policies and oversight of financial activity.
The review also found that personnel were reimbursed for travel expenses without proper pre-authorizations, the former Director of Food Services circumvented small purchase procedures and that controls over the purchase of fuel were inadequate.
"Taxpayers expect school districts to tighten their belts and watch their spending just as they have in these tough economic times," Edelen said. "And Kentucky's students deserve an education system that puts the focus on their needs."
The review can be found on the auditor's website at http://auditor.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx .
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