Sunday, August 24, 2014

In June 2013 Fox's Board of Education Was Told Credit Cards Now Had Tighter Controls

In June 2013, the Fox C-6 Board of Education (BOE) was told that the district purchased a new module for their financial software which would allow the district to import credit card statements into their financial software. It would also allow them to "maintain tighter controls over purchases as well as increase the district's rebate."

The request also stated that the district "will need to expand the number of users through this process". I take this to mean that by providing more people with credit cards the district could earn even more rebate money. There were 25 credit card holders on the list to be approved for the 2013-2014 school year at the June 2013 Fox C-6 school board meeting.

There's nothing mentioned as to how the "rebate" money would be used or applied.

After reviewing the 2013-2014 school year credit card purchases it doesn't appear that the district was very diligent in "maintaining tighter controls over purchases".

Below is the text from the June 25, 2013 request to the BOE to approve employee credit cards and what the BOE was told about how the cards would be limited in types of purchases and limits. You can click on the link below the text to view the document presented to Fox's BOE in their June 2013 board packet. The pages from the June 25, 2013 board packet also includes the names of the card holders and their credit limits.
The District currently has credit cards through UMB. Per Policy #3181, the cards must be approved by the Board of Education. The District's bank, United Missouri Bank (UMB), provides cards without an annual fee. The cards are able to be coded for specific types of purchases and limits. 
The District also has Discover Cards. The card fees are more than offset by the rebates generated by using the card. 
The District also has an American Express card with no fees. 
We have purchased the P-Card module with our new SIS-FIN software. We are working with our credit card vendors to develop reports that will enable us to import credit card statements into the new system. The P-Card espansion will simplify our purchasing process, maintain tighter controls over purchases as well as increase the district's rebate. This year we will receive rebates of $30,317.92. We will need to expand the number of users through this process.
A list of employees who will have a UMB, American Express, and Discover credit card is attached.

Admins Knew Credit Card Policy
The interesting thing about this request to the board is that it references Fox's Credit Card Policy #3181. If Critchlow, Berblinger and McCutchen were referencing the policy in their request to the school board to approve the credit cards, then the administrators were knowledgeable about the Credit Card Policy. Fox's credit card policy states that credit cards are limited to purchasing Instructional Materials.

However, Fox's credit card statements document that credit cards weren't used solely for Instructional Materials. Policy #3181 is the same as the new Credit Card Policy #3125 which is still awaiting adoption by the school board.

The school board and the district have been working on updating board policies for almost 5 years but still haven't completed that task. That's why the request above referenced Policy #3181 instead of Policy #3125.

Several people have posted questions asking who Sue Belleville is and why she purchased $211.57 at TOYSRUS-BABIESRUS in December 2012 using a district credit card. Sue Belleville works in the CKC program and is listed as a credit card holder on the List above. Is it possible that the purchase could have been for toys or games for the kids in the CKC program? Just a thought.