Report 2014-135R Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2014-135R: Magnolia Science Academies: Although the Financial Condition of These Charter Schools Has Improved, Their Financial Controls Still Need to Be Strengthened (Release Date: May 2015)

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Recommendations to Los Angeles Unified School District
Number Recommendation Status
13

To improve communication between the inspector general and the division, LAUSD should develop procedures for discussing relevant findings in draft form and for determining how those findings should affect the decisions that the division or the board makes.

Fully Implemented
14

To improve its process for considering whether to rescind a charter school's conditionally renewed petition, LAUSD should develop procedures to provide charter schools with a reasonable amount of time for an appropriate response or to potentially remedy concerns.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Magnolia Educational and Research Foundation
Number Recommendation Status
1

Consistent with their charter petition terms, the Foundation should ensure that each academy maintains the minimum required cash reserve.

Fully Implemented
2

To ensure the CMO fees it charges to its academies are accurate, the Foundation should develop procedures to ensure that CMO fees are accurately calculated and recorded, including performing regular reconciliations of the CMO fees recorded in the Foundation's and academies' general ledgers.

Fully Implemented
3

To ensure that the academies' spending aligns with their budgets, the Foundation should create and retain standardized reports with a sufficient level of detail to allow its staff and the academy principals to compare the academies' spending to their budgets.

Fully Implemented
4

To reduce the risk of misappropriation, the Foundation should ensure that it appropriately authorizes all of its expenditures and the academies' expenditures. It should also ensure that it includes sufficient supporting documentation for each expense, including documenting the purpose of each transaction.

Fully Implemented
5

To strengthen its controls over purchases that principals make at the academies, the Foundation should update its accounting manual to require academy principals to obtain written authorization before processing purchases on their debit cards that are higher than established thresholds. The Foundation should also revise its accounting manual to prohibit the use of debit cards for travel except in the case of a documented emergency.

Fully Implemented
6

To ensure that it can locate documentation supporting its expenditures and the academies' expenditures, the Foundation should develop a stronger document filing system that links all supporting documentation for expenditures to its authorization and justification included in the CoolSIS system by using a unique identifier such as a purchase order number.

Fully Implemented
7

To strengthen its contracting process, the Foundation should define who has authority to sign vendor agreements.

Fully Implemented
8

To increase transparency and reduce the risk of misuse of funds, the Foundation should update its policies and procedures regarding vendor selection to require that it maintain independence in its relationships with vendors.

Fully Implemented
9

To ensure that it provides proper oversight over its process for hiring employees who are not citizens of the United States and that it meets all legal requirements for the employees it sponsors, the Foundation should enhance its human resources policies and procedures and implement a centralized system to track and maintain sponsored employees' files and publicly available documentation. Moreover, the Foundation should use the centralized system to ensure that proper notification is sent to Homeland Security for any material changes to sponsored employees' employment. The Foundation should also review all of its past and present noncitizen employees' files and notify Homeland Security of any material changes that it has not previously reported.

Fully Implemented
10

To hold its management accountable for meeting their responsibilities related to the payroll process, the Foundation should continue to implement its new desk procedures of requiring review and documentation of that review at each stage in the payroll process.

Fully Implemented
11

To safeguard the funds that the academies raise, the Foundation should ensure that academy staff follow the fundraising procedures in its accounting manual, especially with regards to timeliness of bank deposits and sign-offs on cash-count forms. The Foundation should also annually train its staff to ensure compliance with fundraising procedures.

Fully Implemented
12

To ensure their compliance with state and federal laws, the Foundation should continue to develop procedures for the academies to follow when they report truancy data to Education. The Foundation's procedures should include a process for the academies to document their calculations.

Fully Implemented


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