Report Recommends No County-Issued Credit Cards for School Board Members
The committee was set up to review the Montgomery County Schools policy on credit card use among board members after several members came under fire for what were deemed “inappropriate” or “unauthorized” charges on the cards.
Other recommendations in the report, according to an MCPS release, is that the school system implement a per diem allowance when board members are attending professional conferences; limit home office expenses for board members and establish a list of pre-approved public events board members can attend.
“The Board of Education takes its responsibility seriously and we want to make sure that we are being good stewards of public dollars,” said Board of Education President Phil Kauffman in a press release. “Our review process has shown that we clearly need to improve the review and approval process of Board member expenses. I think our recommendations today will go a long way in ensuring that we have good processes in place to manage expenses.”
The Venable law firm conducted an outside review of the expenses and the board practices and guidelines regarding the usage of board-issued credit cards. Attorney Karl Racine updated the committee on Venable’s findings. His report found that there were weaknesses and ambiguity in the current processes that need to be corrected. Racine’s review “did not uncover evidence of intentional action taken to improperly use the credit cards for personal expenses,” according to his July 21, 2014 written report.
The recommendations, unanimously approved by the Ad Hoc Committee for Review of Board Processes and Guidelines on Board Expenditures, will go to the full Board of Education on July 28 for consideration.
You can read the full report here.