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Internal Audit

chair desk

Contact Information

Sasser Administration Building
14201 School Lane
Internal Audit Trailer
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Phone: (301) 780-6888
Fax: (301) 780-6893

Michele Winston, CRMA, CPA, Director of Internal Audit

Internal Audit Staff

 

PGCPS Compliance Hotline

 

 

Benefits of an Audit

Internal Audits are conducted primarily pursuant to an annual audit plan of activities that is developed by the Director of Internal Audit.  Audits may also be requested by management.  Some of the benefits of an Internal Audit includes: 

  • Identification of deviations from management's policies and procedures and expectations
  • Identification of controls that could be strengthened
  • Objective assessment of areas of interest to management
  • Confirmation that existing controls and procedures are adequate
  • Recommendation for controls to prevent and detect fraud, waste and  abuse 
    Identification of economies and efficiencies
  • Identification of opportunities for recoveries of PGCPS assets
  • Confidential investigation of reported allegations
  • Identification of opportunities to automate procedures
  • Assurance of automated computer controls
  • Compliance audits of schools, offices, departments, programs, grants
  • Performance of special request engagements

Hotline Policy and Procedures

Objective: To provides a confidential means for employees and citizens to anonymously report suspected wrongdoing, including waste, fraud, and abuse of PGCPS resources.  Phone calls and online reports may be submitted directly to an independent, third-party hotline vendor. 

Scope: Phone calls received through the hotline or similar sources (e.g. mail).
 
Purpose: To establish procedures for the receipt of documents, handling of hotline calls, review of allegations, and resolution of problems. 

Supervision of Program

The Internal Audit Director is responsible for the oversight, coordination, review and investigation of allegations reported under this program.

Vendor Management of Hotline Calls

The Hotline Vendor receives calls and online reports. The caller is given a reference number for the report as a portal for subsequent communication regarding the report that was made.  The hotline vendor records the details in the hotline database and sends a notification to the Internal Audit Director that a report has been prepared for review. 

Confidentiality 

Employees, Vendors, and Citizens who call the hotline may remain anonymous.  If the person requests anonymity, no attempt will be made to identify the employee, vendor or citizen.  Information provided must be treated as confidential and privileged to the extent permitted by applicable law.

Hotline investigations will be undertaken in a confidential manner.  Results of investigations are communicated to the Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Board of Education Chair and further only to those with a need to know as determined by the Internal Audit Director.

Retaliation against an employee who in good faith filed a report of alleged fraud, waste or abuse or who participated in an investigation is a violation of the Maryland Whistleblower Law.  Such “whistleblower protection” is granted in Section 6-901 et.seq. of the Md Education Article, entitled, "Public School Employee Whistleblower Protection Act".

Internal Audit FAQ’s

Q: How do I request an Internal Audit?
A: Requests for internal audits should be emailed to the Director or Internal Audit at mwinston@pgcps.org

Student Activity Funds

Monetary Transmittal Form (MTF)

Q: Why must an MTF be completed in its entirety, including all columns, and signed by the MTF originator and bookkeeper?
A: All columns of the MTF must be completed in its entirety to assist the bookkeeper in posting funds to their proper funds within the accounting records. The form also
provides an audit trail to substantiate from whom funds were received to protect against loss,
theft or misappropriation. The MTF originator’s signature provides record of who completed the form and the bookkeeper’s signature verifies that funds were received as stated on the form.

Principal Sponsored Activities (PSA)

Q: What is Principal Sponsored Activities (PSA) and how is it funded?
A: Principal Sponsored Activities often called PSA is a restricted account in the Student Activity Fund whose primary usage is for principals to fund staff-related expenses (i.e. food, gifts, flowers, etc.) Expenditures from this account should not exceed funding that is provided as follows:

  • 100% of vending from machines located in the staff lounge
  • 25% of vending commission from student-accessed machines up to the
    first $50K, 10% of amount exceeding $50K
  • 15% of school-wide fundraiser profits, including picture commission
  • Up to twenty-five (25%) percent of senior class residual funds (requires authorization from school officers).

Solvent/Insolvent

Q: How do I determine my solvent/insolvent status?
A: A manual calculation would be made using the Insolvency Report Form. You will also need the most recent Available Funds report from School Funds Online (SFO). First enter Total Available Funds (Line 1) and add Negative Restricted Items (Line 2). If the Total Negative Restricted Items (Line 2) is more than the Total Available Funds (Line 1), then the school is insolvent. Instructions for this calculation are in the Accounting Procedures Manual (APM), Section 5.2 Financial Reporting Requirements.

Donated and Grant Funds

Q: What is the amount of donated funds a school can accept?
A: Donated funds up to $5,000.00 may be accepted at schools. Monetary gifts totaling more than $5,000 and up to $50,000 from any one donor during the course of a fiscal year will be accepted only with the advance approval of the Chief Executive Officer. Monetary gifts totaling more than $50,000 from any one donor during the course of a fiscal year will only be accepted with approval of the Board of Education. All grant funds have to be reported to the Grants Management Financial Office.

For further guidance see Administrative Procedure 3230, Grant Assistance, Funding Solicitations, and Acceptance of Other Funds and Resources.

Unpaid Bills

Q: What should be included as Unpaid Bills on the Insolvency Report Form?
A: School billings that have not been paid by the end of the month (even if paid before the next month’s reconciliation). Example, It is July 15 and you are preparing the Insolvency Report as of June 30. There is a billing for yearbooks that was due June 30, but was paid not until between July 5. This billing would be listed as an unpaid bill. Instructions for this calculation are in the Accounting Procedures Manual (APM), Section 5.2 Financial Reporting Requirements.

Prior Year (PY) Carryover

Q: What can PY Carryover be used for?
A: Prior Year Carryover can be used to offset negatives in the unrestricted area only.

Financial Reporting

Q: How often should schools prepare financial reports?
A: Schools are required to prepare financial reports monthly by the 15th of each month. These reports are required to be reviewed by the principal and initialed to evidence
review. School financial trimester reports are due to be submitted to the Accounting and Financial Reporting Office.

School Funds Expenditure Form

Q: Why is it necessary for the principal to sign the School Funds Expenditure form twice?
A: The principal’s signature in the “Request & Pre-Approval” section is required to show that the requestor has been authorized to make the purchase. Staff may not make school purchases without authorization. The principal’s signature in the “Payment Information” section is required to indicate review of the prepared check and supporting
documentation. The principal should sign this section after matching the prepared check to the request and finally signing the school check for issue.

PTA and Booster Club Organizations

Q: Are PTA and Booster Club Organizations considered school organizations?
A: No. PTA, PTSAs and Booster Club Organizations are outside affiliated organizations and are not governed by PGCPS.

Public Property Assessments

Q: Should the ‘In-Use Inventory Equipment Receiving Report’ (Self Insurance Form)
be used even when receiving equipment from another department?
A: Yes. This form should be completed and sent to the Fixed Assets Office whenever new
equipment is received. Do not assume that the issuing department has completed this documentation. An electronic copy of the ‘In-Use Inventory Equipment Receiving Report’ can be found on the PGCPS website under ‘Employees’, in the middle column.

Material Transfer Form

Q: Who should complete the ‘Material Transfer Form’ when equipment is moved from one PGCPS location to another?
A: An authorized person at the location where the equipment is currently housed should complete this form. A copy should be kept at the location for future reference and the duplicates should accompany the equipment. Do not allow any equipment to be removed from your building/office without this form having been completed. It is important that this form is completely filled out to include; manufacturer, model, and serial number.

Investigative Procedures

Director of Internal Audit

The Director of Internal Audit shall provide confidentiality over hotline documents in order to maintain the integrity of the hotline program.

Vendor Responsibility

The hotline number is answered by the hotline vendor.  The interviewer should explain the process:

  • Information provided is confidential.
  • Assign a number (sequentially) to each caller and provide that number to him/her.
  • Ask caller to call back within 10 business days in case Auditor needs additional information after the preliminary investigation.

Caller Responsibility

  • File a report online: https://pgcps.alertline.com/gcs/welcome or file a report by phone:1-866-646-2512 
  • Board Resolution 452-05 protects employees from retaliation for disclosing what the employee believes evidences certain unlawful, wasteful or hazardous practices.
  • Caller may leave name and number in case additional information is needed.  If caller wants to remain anonymous, an identification number will be provided at the end of the interview.
  • Provide as much detail as possible to explain the activity that is taking place.  The detail provided should include:  
    • Agency/department and subject (s) involved. 
    • Description of events, fraud, abuse, etc. 
    • Dates, times, and places of occurrence. 
    • Any available evidence to support allegation. 
    • Available documentation and location. 
    • Any credible witnesses  
       

PGCPS Investigator Responsibility

  • Record the call on the hotline log database
  • Discuss hotline information received with Director of Internal Audit
  • Perform investigation, if warranted
  • Contact the Board Chair and Superintendent if urgent action is required
  • Provide periodic reports to BOE
  • Issue letter or report once investigation is finalized
  • Follow-up on completion of any required remedial actions
  • File, sequentially, investigation documentation in a locked file drawer in the file room 

Student Activity Fund Audits

About the Student Activity Fund Audits

The objectives of the audit were to determine the effectiveness of the system of internal controls and to determine whether the school was in compliance with the policies and procedures of the APM and the BOE. It is important to recognize that, while the audit report focused on deficiencies, it was intended to be constructive. The audit was not designed and conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the educational programs in the school. Therefore, the absence of comments related to the educational programs should not be construed to imply that these programs are either adequate or deficient.

Student Activity Fund Audits

Internal Audit’s Responsibilities

  • To furnish the Board of Education with analysis, recommendations, advisory services, and information concerning Prince Georges County Public School activities.
  • To evaluate Prince Georges County Public School control procedures for ensuring that assets are protected from waste, loss and abuse
  • To facilitate and support any audit processes and assist external auditors to the extent required by the Board of Education and/or federal, state or local authorities
  • To conduct audits and investigations requested by the Board of Education and/or the Chief Executive Officer, as authorized by the Board of Education.

Authority

  • The authority and responsibilities of the Office of Internal Audit have been established by the Board of Education. This authority is outlined in Board Policy 8373, Office of Internal Audit, as follows:
  • Complete access to all PGCPS schools, records, including personnel records, documents, and files in any form;
  • Authority to request assistance and receive full cooperation from appropriate PGCPS personnel in obtaining the information listed in Item 1 above;
  • Authority to interview PGCPS staff and employees to obtain information pursuant to audit investigations; and
  • Access and inspection rights to all PGCPS assets, property, and facilities owned, leased, or borrowed by PGCPS

Mission Statement

Internal Audit reports directly to the Board of Education to support members in the effective discharge of their responsibilities. Internal Audit's goal is to add value by assisting PGCPS with accomplishment of its objectives. This is achieved by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.  Internal Audits are conducted in accordance with standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Governmental Accountability Office (Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards).