In a unanimous decision the BVSU board agreed to a two-year contract with The Bonadio Group of Albany, N.Y., to complete the fiscal year 2011 and fiscal 2012 audits for BVSU, as well as its member school districts of Arlington and Sandgate. The Bonadio Group, a firm with extensive school district auditing experience, will replace Dorothea Kelly, whom the school board hired to a two-year, $13,500 annual contract last August.
The Bonadio Group will be paid $5,500 for each audit of BVSU and Sandgate School District, and $6,000 for the larger Arlington School District.
Superintendent Karen Gallese said the price from The Bonadio Group is lower than it likely would have been if sought independently because it was included among quotes to do fiscal year 2012 audits for Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union and its six member districts. SVSU, which has contracted to do many of the financial services for BVSU, has used The Bonadio Group for more than a decade.
Kelly, who has been working on the fiscal 2011 audits since last fall, will be paid the full $13,500 for her work. Gallese said Kelly, who has never completed a school district audit, asked to be released from the second year of the contract, for which she will not be paid.
At the time Kelly was hired, all three fiscal year 2011 audits were expected to be completed
The BVSU and Arlington school boards have said they are waiting for the completed fiscal year 2011 audits to determine exactly how the mistakes will be rectified.
Gallese said following Wednesday's meeting The Bonadio Group expects to complete the fiscal 2011 audit by January -- which is when the fiscal 2012 audit is generally expected to be complete. The fiscal 2012 audits are not expected until May 2013.
Kelly was hired after BVSU went out to bid following frustration with delays to the fiscal year 2010 audit done by Stanley Pawlaczyk. The fiscal 2010 audits were not completed until the summer of 2011, about half a year later than expected. Previous Superintendent Thomas Gallagher said blame for those delays was largely due of the supervisory union's business office not having required information readily available. The previous business manager then resigned in February, causing further delays.
Delays to the fiscal 2011 audits, officials have said, stem more from a lack of experience by Kelly in doing school district audits, which are generally thought to be more complex than auditing private corporations.