Great Neck schools to implement fuel-use plan

Great Neck schools to implement fuel-use plan

After state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office released an audit report in July finding that the Great Neck school district mismanaged its fuel use, the district has begun taking steps to address the report and ensure compliance.
The Great Neck Board of Education approved a Corrective Action Plan on Monday that identifies and addresses how the district plans to properly monitor its 4,000-gallon underground gasoline storage tank.
The report revealed that between July 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015, the school district inadequately maintained fuel records and put itself at risk of theft.
“District officials are responsible for designing controls over fuel use to ensure fuel inventories are safeguarded and protected against the risk of loss, waste and misuse,” the report said. “The board should establish policies and procedures to ensure that fuel purchases are appropriate, properly supported and fuel is used for legitimate district purposes.”  
Although the school district was cited for its failure to monitor its fuel use, the comptroller’s office said there was no evidence of wrongdoing.
The report said it found instances where there were discrepancies between fuel pump meter readings and how much fuel was actually used.
On 19 days, the report said, there was a difference of 41 gallons between what the school district had recorded and how much fuel was dispensed.
According to the action plan, the district purchased an automated management system called “Island Plus” that controls, monitors and tracks fuel use.
“The system can capture and store transactions that will provide reports indicating who dispersed the fuel, when (the time of day and the day) and how many times the vehicle or power tool was fueled,” the plan says. “The system will also include an automated fuel gauge or level sensor to indicate when deliveries were made, when fuel was dispersed and remaining fuel in the tank.”
Additionally, specific district employees will be issued a card or key to operate the system, which will ask for an identification number, vehicle number, odometer reading and amount of time the power tool was fueled.
District officials said this will help keep “real time” reports and make them more accurate.
The district will also purchase another camera to be placed on the roof of the building by the gas pump to provide better coverage of the gasoline tank, the plan said.
The comptroller’s office recommended that the Board of Education establish written procedures to control the district’s fuel assets, review daily fuel sheets and investigate discrepancies and perform reviews of vehicle performance and fuel use.
According to the action plan, the Board of Education Policy Committee amended its “Asset Accounting and Inventory” policy, which fuel use falls under, to assist employees in correctly accounting for all fuel purchased, used and remaining in the underground gasoline tank.
The district said all action plan items will be implemented by June 30, 2017, which is the end of the current fiscal year.

By Joe Nikic

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