Fiscal Monitoring Transcript

>> Hi. My name is Tyler Backus. And I am the new Management Analyst for Department of Education, Special Services. And we're here today to talk about the fiscal monitoring that we're going to be doing, starting -- you guys have already gotten your letters. And then you guys will start submitting information up until July 15. [background electronic beeping] So I'd like to give like a little bit of background and look at my role, and this is to ensure you're compliant but also to get you compliant. So I'm not here to be -- make it harder or anything like that. I'm here to ensure that you meet the standards that the feds and the state require of you. And I'll -- and I look at myself as mostly -- is like a facilitator to get you there.

[ Natural Sounds ]

>> The leader has muted your line. To unmute your line, press pound six.

>> Okay. So Kara just went over -- already went over the housekeeping issues, for the most part. She's muted all your lines except for this one, of course. And then we didn't really do introductions but that's fine. And thirdly, that's the site where there's some documents up already. And if we need to put any other documents up, we will put them up there. So the first piece of this is -- this is kind of the basic framework for the fiscal review. Basically what we're looking at, we're going to look at -- to ensure that the -- all the federal funds are spent in accordance with the federal laws, state laws and with the approved budget that is submitted. And that you'll only use to pay for excess cost items, so items that would generally be spent for regular education funds. You have to use your state and local funds to also pay for those same services, the special education students. The Part B funds can only be used to pay for items in excess of that. We want to ensure that everyone meets MOE. And districts that are having trouble meeting MOE, we'll work with you to figure out how to get you to meet MOE. We don't want you to have to pay back or to lose money or pay back money. We're going to ensure that your CIS is calculated correctly, and that, with equipment, that you're probably utilizing that equipment, and that you have the correct records for that. And we'll have more on that later. And then the same with the time and effort, to ensure that this is -- you know, basically the paperwork is being done correctly and that you have the correct paperwork. And this is kind of -- at least for me, it's the big push this year, is getting schools to have internal controls. We know that many schools don't have internal controls or have very limited internal controls, and we also know that the internal controls for one school may not be the same as the internal controls for another school, because the districts are doing different things. They may -- you know, these may be different.

[ Pause ]

>> So before I come visit there's going to be certain documents that you'll have to send in. I'm going to want the local, your local entitlement accounting records. Basically I want to be -- you should send in enough information so that I can calculate. Like, should be your overall, your summary sheet. It should show the local entitlement money coming in. I should be able to verify that all your budget stuff matches between your award letter and your accounting record. I should be able to calculate your MOE with what you send in, your excess costs. Basically anything. Any of these calculations that I'm going to have, or that you make yearly, I want to be able to verify them. So whatever you send in for accounting records, I should at least be able to do that. So you'll also send in any purchase services or [inaudible]. If you have any internal controls already, then I would like a copy of those. And I guess I already kind of touched on this, just to make sure that your proportionate share calculation is done correctly though. I -- talking with Jan, she said that pretty much every school is good on this particular calculation. And if you have for -- if you have equipment records, then we would want you to send those in. And this kind of came up the last time. For this fiscal review, it's the $5000 threshold. So it's meeting the federal regulation. And all of you should hopefully know that that's changing. You guys are going to have to track all of your equipment purchases in the future, or starting now, [inaudible] Kara?

>> It's starting with the FY-14 local entitlement fund. So some of you have probably started applying for those. Some of you may be waiting. But when you budget, anything that you budget under the equipment line in local entitlement, be it for $10 or $10,000, you'll have to be keeping track of that, but that starts this year.

>> So we won't be looking for that detail on this particular fiscal review. So after you get stuff in I'm going to review. I'm going to look at your internal controls. People that don't have internal controls at this point or lacking internal controls in particular areas, I'm going to try to see what other districts are doing. I'm going to see what districts and other states are doing for internal controls just so that we're not re-creating the wheel, that we need to have them, but it doesn't mean that you have to necessarily write them from scratch. You can take somebody else's and make it applicable to your district. Again, the equipment, if you have equipment that meets the threshold, you would send those in and I'll [inaudible] to ensure that it meets the standard. The -- reviewing your proportionate share calculation and your excess and maintenance of effort calculations as well. And then again, if there's -- especially with the maintenance of effort, if it's close or if you don't think you're going to meet it in the coming year, there are ways that we can reduce your maintenance of effort. And if you want to know those, we can kind of work with the district to make those happen.

[ Pause ]

So once I come, after I review it, we're going to do on-site visits. And so basically the stuff that's due July 15 and shortly thereafter, we'll start the on-site visits. And I forgot to mention on the last slide that from May 30 to June 14 I'm actually going to be out of the state. I'm in National Guard and that's our two week period. So if you have questions during that period, you can direct your questions to Jan and she'll be able to help you out with any problem you might have. So back to the on-site visit. We're going to -- I'm going to come down and visit the district. We're going to review an invoice, at least one. If you only have smaller invoices, we're probably -- or we might do two or three invoices. And we're basically -- I'm going to look at each line and ensure that what you're spending your money on you're allowed to spend your money on. I'll be looking at transaction dates within the invoice to ensure they actually meet or they're within the same dates of the invoice. If you had equipment that met the threshold, we'll be looking at that, ensuring you have the records for that, ensuring that it's used appropriately, according to the federal guidelines. And then we're also going to review the maintenance of effort calculation and then excess cost. Now the excess cost, I believe a bunch of -- I don't believe it was done correctly in this previous application. I've met with some people. They showed me how to have you correctly calculate it. So you'll see that as part of your application in the coming year. But we're going to review it for this year just, again, because we don't want anybody to lose money because you don't meet one of these qualifications.

[ Pause ]

>> So we're also going to review this time and effort. So if you have any of your employees that are either funded by multiple federal grants or by federal grants and state or local money, then you have to do the personal activity report on a monthly basis. And then we'll also review any time and activity certification statements for those employees that are only paid for with IDEA funds. And of course, we're also going to look at allowable costs, anything that was spent. And you should review up on the website that was provided. There's a sheet that Wisconsin did, that's very good. It tells you things that are definitely allowable, things that you might want to ask about, or if it meets a certain condition, then it will be fine. And then they list off certain things that, under Federal rule, are definitely not allowable to be paid for with the local entitlement money.

[ Pause ]

>> So the due date for all of the documents is July 15. You can send them either electronic to Cheryl or you can mail them in, and here's the address provided. And ensure that it's labeled very well because if you just put Department of Education, it's going to go to the main desk and we're not -- nobody out there is going to know exactly where to send it to. So it's very important to have it labeled correctly.

[ Pause ]

>> Yeah.

>> We had a quick question. Are you going to talk about what the personnel activity report entails? You --

[ Pause ]

>> We probably won't talk about it right now. I can -- I could either email [inaudible] the time and effort documentation. That will give you tons of information on what needs to be on your part, or you can call me. I didn't bring the information into here that has to do with it. So I don't want to say something now and then have it be wrong. I have a couple of documents that other states have [inaudible] on the PAR's. [inaudible] again, they're very good. And I'm not going to re-create documentation. So I can either send you stuff that they have already created that explains it very well, or you can give me a call and we can talk about it then.

>> Do we do the PAR on contracted, all related service providers [inaudible]?

>> PAR's is just on employees. So that's one --

[ Pause ]

>> I'm trying to think of the account line. It's four different categories.

>> Oh, yeah. It wouldn't be your purchase services.

>> Yeah.

>> It would only be at the [inaudible] of 1000.

>> Yeah.

>> A thousand.

>> So only your own actual employees. You don't -- you wouldn't do it on contracted services.

>> We also have a listen and learn in the archive on time and effort reporting. That's a good resource. If anyone has any questions, that would also be a good place to check. Any other questions? You can star-six to unmute your line, or you could type in the chat box.

[ Pause ]

>> When will the site visits be occurring?

>> So we're going to start the site visits pretty much right after the July 15 date. I expect that some districts will have their information in before the July 15. I know there's a couple of districts who have already said they're going to. So those districts that -- if I [inaudible] -- you know, I'm going to be back June 14, which I think is actually the 17th. I'll -- if I have stuff that's already been submitted by that date, I'll start reviewing it and setting up dates to do the site visit. I think where we're -- I'm doing this pretty compressed schedule as far as the site visit. I'm not going to try to dictate when those are. I think they -- I'm going to work with each district basically to set up your site business during -- it's going to be something like either during the summer. I want to have them done for September, but if it has to be extended a little bit, then that's okay.

>> Is the PAR a form you supply on your website?

>> No. This is because there's no dictated form for it. I can give you some examples of what other districts have done, but it's something that it doesn't -- it's not a uniform form; so, no.

>> Are you looking at FY-12 or FY-13 records?

>> FY-13.

>> Any other questions?

[ Pause ]

>> What's Tyler's email? [typing] I'm going to type it in the chat box.

[ Pause ]

>> Will I be posting the PowerPoint online? No, Paul, I won't be. We were told by the communication team here that we can't post PowerPoints anymore because they're not accessible documents. So the way that I kind of gotten around that is if you send me an email, I'd be happy to send it to you, but I won't be posting it on the website. We will be posting the archived version of this webinar on the website. I know people have been looking for archived webinars on our listen and learn page and haven't been able to find them, and I apologize. I've had an issue with my web program. But we're up and running today. So everything should be out by the end of the day tomorrow.

[ Pause ]

>> If no one has any other questions, we'll end the webinar. Again, you have Tyler's email. So if you have any questions, feel free to contact him. Thanks everybody for being such a good group.

>> Thanks.

>> The leader has disconnected. The conference will be terminated in two minutes.

[ Electronic Beeps ]

[ Silence ]