Where are the Financial Controls??
- $1.1M decrease in 2018
- $3.3M increase in July 2019
- $9.7M increase in August 2019
- $387K increase in October 2019
- $2.5M increase in February 2020
- $469K increase in April 2020
- $7.1M increase in December 2020
- $290K increase in November 2021
- Level play field and improve drainage
- Tile wainscot at corridors and new VCT flooring
- Clean and Paint building exterior
- HVAC, Paint, Irrigation, Landscaping, Site and Paving
- Who is responsible for the financial management of the capital projects that are within the bond budgets?
- Shouldn’t the Board be overseeing or at least be informed of budget changes with specifics?
- Shouldn’t the public be informed of progress against original scope and approved changes?
- What are vendors / consultants / architects / construction companies being held accountable for?
- What is the confidence level of the estimates and what are the risk mitigation strategies to help maintain financial control?
- How are change requests against the 3% contingency (projected at $12M for the 2022 Bond Proposal) managed or is this an area for improvement?
No evidence was found in the BoardBook of the Board being informed or approving these changes. They were reported on the Bond Summary Report, but no evidence of rationale or any explanation was found in the BoardBooks. The 2022 Bond Proposal has $38.7M in FCA funding requested. The data provided to the Long Range Facility Planning Committee and posted on the website has bullet point summaries by campus and a total FCA campus request. Serene Hills, for example, has $3.6M for:
The consultant’s actual assessment reports, which SHOULD have detailed assessment findings and estimates which lead to the campus estimate has been requested through a Public Information Request (PIA) but has not yet been received. Based on statements by a Board member and by a social media posting by a Committee member, it is believed that the detailed assessment reports, if they exist, were not part of the Bond review process. Watch for further updates on that.
But given the findings to date of the 2018 overrun, the Board needs to address some fundamental financial control questions:
The public wants to support our District and our students. There is no question that infrastructure improvements are required. Buildings need to be built and maintained – the public is generally in support of incurring tax increases to support the education of our community kids. But there also needs to be more due diligence with the estimates reviewed by the Long Range Facilities Planning Committee, the Board, and the public; there needs to be more transparency to how the millions of dollars are being awarded to vendors to ensure best value and best efforts to maintain on-time, on-budget; and there needs to be more accountability and basic financial management controls and disciplines adopted to maintain the public trust.