Showing posts with label forensic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label forensic. Show all posts

Thursday, July 19, 2018

In the News: MA budget goes to Governor; Dean conducts forensic program for high school students

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The $41.88 billion budget deal that was filed Wednesday morning and quickly approved by the Legislature includes no new fees, according to the lead House negotiator, and relies on an unusual eleventh hour revenue projection upgrade to boost spending to levels higher than either the House or Senate approved this spring. 
The budget (H 4800), which is on track to reach Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk by the end of the day, was filed 17 days after the start of the new fiscal year, and 13 days before the end of formal legislative sessions, during which recorded votes can be taken. 
House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez told reporters Wednesday that he did not think there was “any one thing” that kept negotiators from producing an on-time budget, saying he and his counterpart, Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka “kept on going back and forth.” 
“They weren’t simple policy pieces,” Sanchez told reporters. “At times you have to dive in in these policy pieces, and you really get stuck in the woods sometimes. I’m just happy and proud we got out of the woods and we have a budget before you that does have significant policy pieces in it.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

An email from Representative Jeff Roy on the just passed budget adds:
"Yesterday, the Budget Conference Committee released its FY19 report and it was enacted by the House and Senate. I am pleased to say that all of the local amendments for Franklin were funded fully and included in this report. 
These include:
  • $50,000 for the Franklin Veterans' War Memorial Parkway
  • $200,000 for King Street Park in Franklin
  • $100,000 towards the New England Center for Children Partner Program at Parmenter Elementary in Franklin
  • $25,000 for the Franklin Downtown Partnership 
  • $50,000 for an Accessible Van for Tri-County"
The budget now is in the Governor's approval queue. He has ten days to approve or reject a specific line item. This also leaves some time for the House and Senate to take action on override items before their session closes for the Summer.

 - - - - -
"Now in its second year, Dean College’s Pre-College Summer Forensic Program is nearing its end, but will be back again next summer. The program lasts two weeks, costs running from $1,250 for commuters and $1,950 for students who choose to catch an early college dorm experience and remain on campus. 
With so many crime dramas saturating cable and streaming services, it’s hard not to take an interest in the investigative process, according to Dean Paul Resten. 
“In many cases these are students that have an interest in the science behind it,” he said. “It’s a very popular topic, and they get to understand what they see on TV, but also from a scientific level as well.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Dean conducts forensic program for high school students
Dean conducts forensic program for high school students

Saturday, January 16, 2010

School Dept fiscal review comes out clean and with praise (updated)

Based upon feedback from School Committee Chair Jeff Roy, the following, originally published on Thursday Jan 14th, has been updated.

It was not too long ago, it seemed like every time you turned around, something or someone was chipping away at the block of trust that citizens had in Franklin's government. The low point probably occurred just before Thanksgiving 2007. The School Committee released information that irregularities in the School budget had been discovered by the Town Comptroller. This appeared to be a "classic release bad news before the holiday move". However, this was not a story to be buried. This was the most serious of several incidents that had residents of Franklin questioning who they could trust. The January 9 2008 Town Council meeting was actually a joint one as the Town Council sat along with the School Committee to hear the auditors present the details of their findings.

Sorry to have brought the bad news back up but I want to put this real good news in the proper perspective. The Town (including the Schools) budget has been audited since then by the Town's regular auditors and the results have come up clean. Policy and procedures have been revised and implemented to improve the financial operations with appropriate checks and balances. The "trust" issue from a budget perspective should have been put to rest.

If someone was still looking for another source to confirm the Town auditor's findings, I think we have one. The School Department was recently the subject of a "fiscal review" by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and received praise for their operations.
The Franklin Public School has done well in maintaining a comprehensive system of written internal policies and procedures relative to its operations of the School Business office. Implementation of a comprehensive system of internal controls ensures that funds are expended in compliance with state and federal regulations and are used for the intended purposes of the grant.
Franklin Public Schools has a number of best practices being performed. Management and other department personnel should be commended for not holding credit cards in the name of Franklin Public Schools.
Additionally, the school district does not have an administrative petty cash fund, while most districts find this a necessity; Franklin Public Schools has done well in eliminating this potentially risky practice.
The credit for this commendation goes to the work of Miriam Goodman who came into this role specifically to address the problems and create good practices. Kudos to the School Committee for the hiring process that resulted in approval of Miriam for Business Administrator.

Miriam has done great work, she shows integrity in her work and the Town is better off for it.

Thank you Miriam!

The full text of the letter is shown below:

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Note: email subscribers will need to click through to the web site to read the document.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My analysis of the Audit Report - updated

I went back to the Audit Report from earlier this year and updated my summary and analysis of the report.

This was originally published in February and can be found here

Monday, March 3, 2008

Recap of School Budget situation

The School Committee meeting on 2/26/08 was long and eventful. The audio sections for the meeting are available here.

If you can't spend three hours listening to the meeting, you can skip to the appropriate section to get the original voices for the following items:

  • Franklin is receiving $2.4 M from the Dept. of Education, effectively a 9% increase over FY08 for the schools
  • The Town, however, is planning for the schools to only receive a 1.5% increase in funding over FY08 which results in the expected layoffs of 45 teachers, increased busing fees, and increased class sizes.
  • Rep Vallee does a wonderful job obtaining money for Franklin but it won't last forever.
  • The High School renovation options cost $90-100 million which is cheaper than building a new school which would cost $120-130 million.
  • The FHS accreditation is on "warning" status now due to the inaction in addressing the high school facility shortcomings. This was expected.
  • The Forensic Report has triggered a number of actions by the School Dept amongst them cost center based budgets (each school is now a cost center), improved accounting of funds in the budget, and interviews for a new finance director were scheduled for 2/27/08.
  • The KCD Policy passed by a vote of 6-1 which now requires all donations to be applied to non-operating expenses and rejects funds previously targeted for specific operational efforts (i.e. the Brick classroom).
  • The communications campaign about the real health issues amongst the Franklin school population as reported in the MetroWest Survey is about to begin with a gathering of representatives from the various groups and organizations in the town. The report will be reviewed in that forum. That group will then make plans for communicating and taking action to address the issues.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Completing the Superintendent's Report (audio)

The remaining items of the Superintendent's report for this meeting. Wayne Ogden has already covered much of them with the prior presentations, here he gets into (1) an update on the MetroWest Health Study and next steps and (2) an update on the actions from the Forensic Report.

The meeting goes into Executive Session with a roll call vote.

Time: 7 minutes, 12 seconds

MP3 File

Saturday, March 1, 2008

FY 2009 - Franklin School Budget info

The full budget can be found here (PDF)

The budget presentation made 2/26/08 can be found here (PDF)

The audio for the Q&A from the 2/26/08 meeting will be available here
Due to technical difficulties, I missed recording most of the actual presentation

An update on the Forensic Audit can be found here.

You can also go directly to the Schools page to find these budget files.