AMADOR COUNTY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
REASON FOR REVIEW
The 1998-1999 Amador County Grand Jury requested the 1999-2000
Grand Jury to review the Heating, Ventilating and Air
Conditioning (HVAC) Grants awarded to Amador County Unified
School District (ACUSD) to determine if ineligible funds had been
expended which were not in accordance with grant regulations.
In 1993, the ACUSD applied to the California Office of Public
School Construction (OPSC) for $3,967,522 in grant monies to
install air conditioning at 11 of the 12 schools within the
School District. The grants were awarded and installation of the
air conditioning systems was accomplished. Subsequent investigations by
the OPSC determined the School District was not in compliance
with the requirements set forth in the grant's objectives, as
ACUSD was single-track and had not converted to multi-track
year-round schools. Since conversion to a multi-track year-round
school system was the basis for the School District receiving
funds, the State proceeded to rescind the grants.
In an attempt to avoid having to pay back the HVAC funds, the
School District requested the State Legislature to waive the
muti-track requirements. During this appeal, the State did not
pursue action regarding payback or auditing of the HVAC Grants.
In 1997, the waiver was granted and no repayment of grant funds was
In August 1998, the OPSC completed an audit of the HVAC Grants
and disallowed approximately $184,400. This amount represents
charges and fees that were not allowed within the parameters of
the HVAC Grants stemming from change orders and overpayment of
fees to the architect, inspectors, contractors and legal assistance
on all eleven grants.
The School District has written Board policies and procedures
that were in place at the time the HVAC Grants were obtained.
These are currently being corrected and modified.
Chief Business Official (ACUSD)
- Administrative Assistant (ACUSD)
- Architectural Firm
- County Auditor/Controller
- Grant awards
- Quarterly reports to OPSC
- Available grant expenditures
- Inspection report
- ACUSD meeting minutes
ACUSD received 11 HVAC Grants from the OPSC to upgrade air
conditioning in classrooms throughout the School District in the
amount of $3,967,522.
- HVAC projects are funded by the State Allocation Board
on a set formula that cannot be adjusted by change orders or
overages in project costs.
- Change orders were processed even though the grant
funding did not permit them.
- Contractors were paid for charges over the allowable
- Architectural fees were paid over the allowable limit.
- Inspectors were permitted to inspect projects after the
completion date specified by the State.
- Legal fees, which are not allowed, were submitted to the
State for payment.
- There was a lack of communication between the
Superintendent of Schools and the ACUSD Board of Trustees.
- In 1998, the ACUSD was required to reimburse $184,408 to
the OPSC for ineligible costs associated with the grants.
- The Superintendent of Schools, who administered the
HVAC Grants, resigned in 1997.
- Only one of the current seven ACUSD Trustees was on the
Board at the time the School District applied for the grants.
- The ACUSD Policies and Procedures Manual was not
- The School District is currently updating and improving
the Board's Policy and Procedures Manual based upon the
California School Board Association guidelines.
There was a lack of communication between the Superintendent of
Schools, in charge at the time, and the Board of Trustees. This
resulted in the lack of a checks and balances process for the
- Spending practices were allowed to go unchecked by the
Board that resulted in costs not allowed by the grants.
- The HVAC Grants were awarded in 1993 and completed in
1995. Very little information is available as the individuals
involved with the original grant applications, and subsequent
construction, are no longer employed by the School District.
The ACUSD should work diligently towards updating and adhering
to their adopted Board Policies and Procedures Manual.
- The Board should review their policies and procedures
for cost accounting and grant management to assure there are
adequate guidelines in place. These procedures should be in
writing and included in the Board's Policies and Procedures
- The Board should establish regular oversight controls to
ensure the problems that arose during the administration of the
HVAC Grants do not reoccur.
- An individual line-item budget for all grants and major
building and maintenance projects should be established.
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