by Lori Morrow
The Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Board of Education Budget and Operations Committee met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, October 9. BOE Members present were K. Alexander Wallace (Committee Chair), Carolyn Boston, and Sonya Willams. Members Curtis Valentine (Committee Vice Chair) and Raaheela Ahmed were on conference call. The PGCPS Chief Financial Officer Mike Herbstman and Internal Audit Director Michelle Winston were also in attendance.
1. The first agenda item was a review of the Committee Charter. Last spring, the PGCPS Board of Education unanimously passed Board of Education policy 8100 which did a full reorganization of the standing and ad hoc committees. The reorganization nearly doubled the scope for the Budget and Operations Committee, formerly known as the Finance, Audit and Budget Committee.
The larger scope for the Budget and Operations Committee includes business management services; human resources & talent development; information technology; pupil accounting, school boundaries & capital improvement (CIP); and supporting services. Last year mostly focused on Operational and Capital Improvement Budgets and Internal Audit.
2. The second meeting agenda item was the annual work plan for the Budget and Operations Committee: https://youtu.be/H_khPdyQaLA?t=498
The document outlines meeting dates and proposed topics for the committee this school year. There was a systematic request to meet twice per month from November to February as those are peak months in covering the Operational Budget. In the committee discussion, BOE members amended the work plan to add the topics of CIP, Public-Private Partnerships (P3), 21st Century Schools State Commission, and Procurement.
The Budget and Operations Committee will also be responsible for selecting locations for the January/February Budget work sessions and public hearings.
3. Internal Audit Director Michelle Winston presented the annual Internal Audit report: https://youtu.be/H_khPdyQaLA?t=1333
The report included a summary of FY2018 Internal Audit operations and the plan for the FY2019. Ms. Winston presented data on the 97 total financial, operational, and fraud audits; 309 hotline report submissions; and 61 property inventory assessments completed in FY2018. An estimated total losses of $16M were averted through audit activities. Actual losses identified in the audits were $1.8M, with $1.1M of that in property assets. Property items continue to be researched on an ongoing basis.
Internal Audit is responsible for school activity fund audits, hotline & special investigations, and property inventories. Special requests for 2018 included the Human Resources salary increases and Bus Lot Transportation payroll operations.