A city audit of the Hartford Public Schools’ spending on city-issued credit cards found no problems, according to a final report issued this afternoon.
The review followed recent audits of the Hartford Public Library and Hartford Parking Authority, which also revealed no issues in their procurement card spending that would “warrant disclosure or management’s attention,” those reports stated.
Craig Trujillo, the city’s deputy chief auditor, said the audit of the schools’ p-card spending focused on expenses over the 2013 fiscal year that ends Sunday. For the first 11 months of the year, the school system made 3,244 purchases on the cards totaling about $819,120 “with an average transaction cost of about $253,” according to today’s report.
Fifty-five administrators in the school system — most of them school principals — have the city credit cards and typically use them for buying school supplies, Trujillo said. Their spending limits range from $5,000 to $10,000.
The audit included an analysis of 200 purchases totaling $203,619.
“We are pleased to report that the results of our audit disclosed operations to be satisfactory as transactions were appropriate and fully supported,” the report stated. A final copy was sent to school officials, city council members, Mayor Pedro Segarra and members of the city’s internal audit commission.
Cityline readers might recall the recent controversy over p-card spending at Hartford City Hall.
Trujillo recommended in today’s report that the school system strengthen its own p-card policy by requiring that the schools’ chief financial officer, Paula Altieri, approve any purchasing of gift cards. Altieri agreed to insert that language in the district’s policy.
In an interview, Trujillo said there was one instance this fiscal year in which $5,000 worth of Target gift cards were purchased and distributed to principals for buying backpacks and lunch bags for students. That money originally came from a $5,000 donation from Target, and Altieri authorized the transaction.
“It’s not taxpayers’ money,” Trujillo said. “It’s Target’s money… That was fully documented.”
“They do a very good job over there,” he added, praising Altieri. “Very, very diligent.”