An odd thing happened att the annual general-membership meeting Tuesday of the South Dakota High School Activities Association. Executive director Wayne Carney gave brief remarks about the annual financial audit and asked for questions. No one took the opportunity. The report from the state Department of Legislative Audit is posted on the SDHSAA website here. It is worth a look. We will report further on details of the questions raised in the audit. Those start on page 6 of the audit packet.
The first finding relates to the recent practice of transferring money between accounts to cover the cash-flow deficits during part of the year, with a total of $250,000 moving out of investments into operations and then moving back to investments. A similar practice is again under way this fiscal year.
The second finding discovered corporate sponsorships weren’t properly tracked. A shortfall of $10,500 was found. This was money that was promised in a five-year $210,000 contract that began in 2009. One payment of $10,500 wasn’t made, according to the audit.
The third finding dealt with two matters. The audit uncovered use of the association’s credit card to pay for meals that weren’t itemized and including some that appeared to be in excess of the standard per-diem amounts set. The audit also found the purchase of 24 tickets to a Boston Red Sox game on June 30, 2014, in Boston. The auditors didn’t get a clear answer about the tickets, how the tickets fit into the association’s mission and whether recipients of the tickets reimbursed the association. The tickets were purchased using the association credit card in three payments from a reseller, StubHub.
The fourth finding reported the association failed to remit $8,890 of unclaimed property to the state treasurer and therefore didn’t comply with South Dakota law. The amount reflected the total of 36 outstanding checks issued as far back as 2005.
Four state legislators had been in the audience for another portion of the meeting Tuesday dealing with transgender athletic participation policy. They didn’t appear to be in the auditorium when the audit was mentioned. The specific findings in the audit weren’t mentioned at the meeting.
UPDATE: Wayne Carney briefed the board on the audit findings Wednesday morning during the second day of the board’s meeting. The audit wasn’t on the agenda. Carney used the “Board Sharing” item on the agenda to provide more information.
The baseball-tickets purchase was part of a trip by board members and staff to the national meeting last summer in Boston. Carney said the tickets were purchased using the SDHSAA credit card and the people who received the tickets were supposed to repay the association. They didn’t. Carney said the matter has since been rectified.
The meals purchases reflected joint meals for the board and staff at various times, whether at restaurants as a group or for food such as pizza brought to board meetings for quick lunches, Carney said. The board policy provides for actual expenses. But the receipts weren’t itemized and didn’t reflect the occasion or the participants, Carney said. The practice has been adjusted so receipts carry the required details, he said.
The missing contract payment involved ball-maker Baden. Carney said SDHSAA didn’t send invoices to Baden and the company was on a quarterly payment schedule. He said Baden didn’t notice that a payment was missed, and SDHSAA didn’t notice because there wasn’t a practice of sending invoices to Baden. He said that has been corrected.
The unclaimed property issue is still being worked on, he said. No money has been turned over yet to the state treasurer. He said a staff member is trying again to contact the various people who have been given checks by SDHSAA but haven’t cashed the checks.