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    Monday, July 16, 2018-1:44:35P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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PSS has ‘strong’ financial statement, says auditing firm

THE Public School System has  a “strong” financial statement in fiscal year 2016-2017, according to Burger Comer Magliari LLC accounting partner David Burger.

In his presentation to the Board of Education on Wednesday, Burger said the increase in supplemental appropriations from the CNMI government and federal grants helped  PSS financially.

For FY 2016-2017, PSS received a supplemental appropriation of $10 million, allowing it to spend more on construction of facilities.

“CNMI government appropriations and federal grants were up and that helped everything,” Burger said in an interview.  “PSS spent mostly on student and support services and they still have cash,” he said.

PSS does not have loans, he said, and the only liability it has are the compensated absences which include annual and sick leave amounting to about $3 million.

Burger said PSS is also current on its payments to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.  In the past years, PSS accumulated about $8 million in unpaid utility bills.

In a separate interview, BOE Chairwoman MaryLou S. Ada said they are very careful when spending PSS money. “We have come a long way, especially with travel authorizations which were a big problem before.”

In the past, there would be 30 to 40 travel authorizations.  “It is now down to five,” Ada said, adding that the travel they cancelled was minor and not obligatory.

Ada said PSS has $76 million in current assets compared to a liability of $3 million.

“In essence, our financial position is very strong. We can go out and borrow money. The federal government and grant agencies will say we are managing our money well. It is a clean audit,” she said.

It also helped that the federal grantor allowed PSS to carry over any balance to the next fiscal year, she added.

PSS received a total of $48.9 million in federal grants for food services, the JROTC program and special education, Ada said.