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Committee OKs review of credit card statements for Nashua school employees
"Does the school board really want to see these details of credit card charges, or Omega Seamaster Vintage Price should we simply rely on the administration to supervise them?" board member David Murotake asked. "What do you want to inflict on the school board? Do you really, really want to discuss credit card charges?"
Unless there is a concern, Ryder said, the committee would not pass on the credit card information to the full board.
The district currently has three credit cards, issued to Donovan, business administrator Paul Calabria and grant administrator Margaret Reynolds.
The approved policy does not change the district's credit card uses but instead supports those practices already in place.
already in place.
According to information provided at the committee meeting, the district spent about $36,251.62 on travel expenses in 2011, which made up about 41.6 percent of its total credit card purchases. Another $10,100 was spent on books, with $9,440 spent on miscellaneous supplies.
The board's Policy Committee created the new policy Tuesday night, aiming to support the credit card use practices already in place in the School District. The review of credit card statements by some board members is the one change to current practices the policy would bring.
The chief operating officer is responsible for supervision of the cards to ensure no personal expenses are put on the card.
Nashua has had its troubles with the use of district credit cards. The controls on the cards were tightened after the district ran into problems in 2006 with former Superintendent Julia Earl.
"This would be a proper check as far as I'm concerned," he said.
"It's not a matter of trust; I'd trust you with my wallet," committee member Dennis Ryder told chief operating officer Dan Donovan. "It's about checks and balances."
Today, Donovan and Calabria keep their credit cards in the school district safe and do not carry the cards on a daily basis.
Other committee members said, however, they did want to have at least some control over the use of credit cards in the district.
Earl was placed on administrative leave for eight months while the district investigated her use of public funds for personal travel. The Telegraph reported in June 2006 that Earl had spent about $8,000 on seven out of state trips, including several Omega Watches Speedmaster Professional
credit card and payroll advances.
And while Donovan has told board members he was confident in the controls in place in the district, the discussion into credit card use began this summer, after a spending scandal in the Wilton Lyndeborough district, where former Superintendent Trevor Ebel resigned abruptly in April after an independent audit showed irregularities on the district's Omega Seamaster Midsize On Wrist
Committee members debated the one change to the policy the review of credit card information by the Finance and Operations Committee discussing whether the review was necessary, and how often the view should occur.
NASHUA The Board of Education's Finance and Operations Committee soon may review credit card statements each quarter.
The approved policy, which now goes to the full board for a vote, came after more than an hour of debate, in which some committee members questioned how much oversight the board wanted to have.
The cards are already used primarily for purchasing travel and school supplies that can only be purchased online, or that are less expensive online, Donovan said Tuesday.
Still, committee members said they were pleased with the decision to turn the district's practices into a board policy. Having a policy in place, they said, gives teeth to the rules and regulations Omega Grey Side Of The Moon Price
to Texas, where she had worked before coming to Nashua and still owned a home. The board eventually reached a $250,000 settlement with Earl in February 2007.
Board members determined that the committee would review credit card purchases at the end of each quarter, with purchases organized by the account with which they were purchased.
Credit cards can be used to buy approved purchases of equipment, supplies and other materials, as well as expenses incurred during district approved travel. All receipts and back up information must be submitted to support credit card statements each month.
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