Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 04-10-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | APRIL 10-16, 2019 NORTH PROVIDENCE 3 NORTH PROVIDENCE – The search for a finance supervisor for the North Providence School Department continues after the sole candidate for the position withdrew his application last week. The supervisor position was added to the schools' finance department as part of a revenue-neutral restructuring of the department, approved by the School Committee in January. Officials said reorganizing the department would help ensure efficiency, provide appropriate oversight and help to more adequately staff the department by upgrading its level of expertise. Supt. Joe Goho said the goal is to "upgrade credentials and expertise in the department to bring improved fiscal controls and accountability, and to have a contingency plan with an appropriately credentialed professional in place in the event something hap- pens to the finance director." The position was posted Jan. 25, but the school board has struggled to attract candidates with the required level of expertise. While the job post- ing closed for applicants on March 29, Goho said school officials would reopen it after the committee's only candidate dropped out. "We've had great difficulty getting someone with those credentials to accept the job at the salary range bud- geted," he said. "People with the finan- cial background we are looking for are in great demand in the marketplace." Before this year's restructuring, the department was made up of a finance director, who oversaw three additional position, an account and finance con- troller, an accounts payable clerk and a payroll clerk. Under the new struc- ture, the finance director oversees the finance supervisor, who is responsible for managing an account and finance officer and the payroll clerk. The department's workload would essentially shift to existing staff, with the account and finance controller transitioning into an accounts and finance officer. The accounts payable clerk position was eliminated, saving $32,500, while the finance supervisor was added at no additional cost. Under the plan, the supervisor would be an experienced accoun- tant, responsible for reviewing payroll, purchasing and accounts receivable process. A presen- tation by Director of Finance Ronald Gonsalves said the supervisor would help reinforce the depart- ment's objectives of operational effi- ciency, reliable financial reporting and compliance with laws, regulations and policies and procedure. "This position will be an integral part of the reliability of financial data and transaction processing, including ensuring the appropriate segrega- tion of duties," Gonsalves said. For example, an employee that collects checks would not be able to deposit the checks. Gonsalves said the plan would incur no additional costs for the district, and that savings may be experienced from a decline in turnover, eliminating roughly $20,000 in overtime costs for the central administration building, and eliminating outside business con- sultant contracts. Reorganizing the department is one of several steps school officials have taken to ensure there are "proper checks and balances in place," said Goho, in the wake of his predecessor's arrest for embezzlement and fraud. Goho said the School Committee is also in the process of reviewing its pol- icies, and that a soon-to-be-completed audit by Bob Civetti will provide "an excellent blueprint that we fully intend to follow to implement sufficient fis- cal controls and oversight moving forward." Improved financial oversight has been an especially hot topic in the wake of the arrest of former Supt. Bridget Morisseau, accused on felony counts related to using a school credit card to make personal purchases. School Department looks to add oversight with finance supervisor By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer nicole@valleybreeze.com GOHO IN BRIEF Police taking part in National Prescription Drug Take-Back day NORTH PROVIDENCE – The North Providence Police Department, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, will be hosting the annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back initia- tive on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the rear of the police headquarters, 1967 Mineral Spring Ave. The initiative aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible alternative for disposing of prescrip- tion drugs. For more information, call Lt. Michael Tavarozzi at 401-231-4533, ext. 111. need to visit? 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