School official criticizes audit

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A $167,000 audit of the Richmond County school system contained bad grammar, bad math and bad information, according to a report released by a school official Thursday.

The MGT of America audit, which was completed in March, criticized the school system's transportation department for buses that were half full and for its assistant director driving bus routes, among other things.

But Transportation Director Michael Shinn refuted the accuracy of some of the audit's findings Thursday during a presentation to the school system's transportation council, an advisory committee of school officials, parents and community members.

Mr. Shinn said he fully supports the goals of the audit, although he questions some of the facts its recommendations are based upon.

"Overall, it's a good concept, but there were some errors," he said after the meeting, adding that auditors only spoke with him for an hour before making their assessments. He never saw the audit before it was finalized.

Mr. Shinn, for instance, isn't sure where MGT got the idea that Assistant Director Jimmie Wiley drives buses 14 hours a week to fill in for absent drivers.

The audit recommended saving money by hiring two full-time substitute drivers instead of allowing administrators to drive. Mr. Shinn said Mr. Wiley doesn't drive buses, and his department already has 22 full-time substitute drivers.

He also questioned the accuracy of the audit's claim that buses are half full. According to the audit, a random sampling of 18 buses found that on average they were underutilized by 807 students, or 54.2 percent.

The audit's figures, however, were based on manufacturer recommendations for how many children can fit on a bus, Mr. Shinn said, and those recommendations aren't realistic.

"We want to fill up our buses to a reasonable amount," he said.

Three older students in one seat isn't a reasonable amount, Mr. Shinn said.

Despite the discrepancies, Mr. Shinn said he supports Superintendent Dana Bedden and restructuring the transportation department.

"We'll implement all the MGT suggestions, but we will include the information as we get it as well," he said.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

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Tujeez
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Tujeez 11/21/08 - 02:34 am
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I guess the glass is half

I guess the glass is half full. Thank God for Obama and Dr. Bedden. They are going to get it right if they have to reorganize the whole of society, one bus-full at a time. I'm glad that the Audit only cost half as much as a new bus.

wildman
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wildman 11/21/08 - 05:23 am
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It's Obama's fault, can't

It's Obama's fault, can't blame Bush any longer.

SCGAL53
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SCGAL53 11/21/08 - 06:06 am
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"A $167,000 audit of the

"A $167,000 audit of the Richmond County school system contained bad grammar"...
Ok, where is real to do spellcheck?

justus4
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justus4 11/21/08 - 06:20 am
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This is an attempt by the
Unpublished

This is an attempt by the local printing operation to misguide the public on transportation operations at RCBOE. It's an attempt to second-guess the Superintendent's authority to audit and find flaws with the audit itself. It also gives Shinn the opportunity to give his side and question the audit's findings. This is a typical attempt by the local printing operation to influence personnel matters of the school district. And to question the grammar and mathmatical abilities of the auditors, speaks volumes to their true objections of the audit. The local printing operation did not approve of WHO was selected to conduct the audit. That one was easy...next.

karmakills123
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karmakills123 11/21/08 - 06:59 am
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lol justass you are a hoot !!

lol justass you are a hoot !!

mar_1081
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mar_1081 11/21/08 - 08:24 am
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This guy is just mad because

This guy is just mad because the audit called the tranportation department out on its faults. I am sure that an audit report was not released prior to going through 5 rounds of review (speaking from experience)! Give me a break. Take the recommendations or don't. However, if you don't take them, they will be mentioned again in the next audit.

noway
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noway 11/21/08 - 08:48 am
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The auditors probably copied

The auditors probably copied the incorrect section from another audit of another school transportation section. How could they get a good understanding of the department and how it works in an hour? Bogus.

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 11/21/08 - 09:52 am
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i could really care less if a

i could really care less if a few words are misspelled or minor gammarical errors, what everyone should be concerned about is the content of the audit. if the information is factual and can be backed up and verified with emperical data that only leaves me to believe the BOE is more concerned with covering up it's inability to spend funds in a economical manner. you have an impartial 3rd party with no axe to grind went in and found various faults with how a department or the school system is run, instead of being greatful and make meaningful changes to which will give the taxpayers a break and possibly reduce the need to continiously increase the mill rate the school board and administration chooses to attack the 3rd party based on minor inconsistancies. this is only done in order for the school board to continously GUT the taxpayer and spend their money on inefficient and useless programs or sport venues for schools that graduate less than 50% of its senior class on a regular basis instead of looking out for the taxpayer.

Tujeez
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Tujeez 11/21/08 - 03:46 pm
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jisomjr, Just wait 'til The

jisomjr, Just wait 'til The Obam takes office. THEN, you will see what inexperience costs.......BIGTIME.

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