Lexington-Richland School District 5 extends audit deadline

Posted 12/14/22

Lexington-Richland School District 5 has extended the deadline for the third phase of its procurement audit.

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Lexington-Richland School District 5 extends audit deadline


Lexington-Richland School District 5 has extended the deadline for the third phase of its procurement audit.

The ongoing audit scrutinizes spending going back to the district’s 2008 bond referendum, putting a spotlight on potential overspending on construction projects and other issues.

The board, which saw all incumbents lose re-election in November with spending questions as a backdrop throughout the campaign, voted 5-2 at its Dec. 12 meeting to extend the deadline for the third phase of the audit from Dec. 31 to Jan. 31, maintaining the full budget for the audit that was approved in June.

The members and Superintendent Akil Ross discussed a contractual update regarding the district's audit services, which led to the extension of the deadline.

Board Chair Rebecca Blackburn Hines and Kevin Scully, who recently won election to the board, voted against extending the deadline.

The contents of the phase three report, initially set to be completed between June and December, will cover topics like P-cards, purchase orders, and temporary services like the bond reconciliation of the 2008 referendum.

“I think it's important that we finish this audit. We're very close.” said Catherine Huddle, who attended the meeting virtually and made the motion to extend the deadline. “We need to clear up the remaining issues with temporary help to ensure that a situation like that does not happen again in the future.”

Scully expressed concern about emails from the “tainted” accounting firm being used for the audit released through a recent Freedom of Information Act request. He mentioned the possibility of terminating the district’s relationship with the firm and moving in the direction of a South Carolina-based firm that complies with the district's shop local initiative and campaign.

Jan Hammond, the immediate past chair of the board who chose not to run for re-election, participated in the public comment portion of the meeting, speaking before the vote and saying the audit belongs to district taxpayers since they paid for it.

“I would like to encourage you if it is not finished by the December date the board had voted upon, that you may allow additional time for the report … with no increased costs and no new scale of scope,” Hammond said

“You as the board have no authority of judgment,” she added. “Your job is simply to carry through on what has already been paid for and share it with the people”.

The district has allocated $60,000 to the audit, $20,000 for each phase.

As of Dec.12, the district has received the exact cost for the first phase of the audit, for which it owes $18,600. The district expects the second phase to cost $19,000.


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