On March 10, 2014, Kurt Riley representing Sumner United for Responsible Government (SURG) filed an Open Records Request with our office to “review and inspect any and all credit card statements for all employees, elected officials, and other personnel from July 2013 to current.” View Mr. Riley’s March 10, 2014 request here.
The Sumner County School District uses government purchase cards also called “P-cards” to make routine district purchases. P-cards differ from traditional credit cards as they allow Sumner County Schools (SCS) to place restrictions on where and how P-cards can be used for purchases. All P-card balances are paid in full at the end of each month. Employees are required to keep and submit all receipts of purchases. P-card statements and all supporting documentation must be reviewed and approved by the employee, the employee’s immediate supervisor and/or department head. All P-card purchases are then reviewed by our Accounts Payable Department. Any statement with activity over $500 is additionally reviewed by an accountant in the Finance Department. View the SCS “Commercial Card Program Policies and Procedures Guide” here. Every employee who is issued a P-card is required to review this guide and sign a statement acknowledging that they have read the guide in full and will adhere to its policies. Only SCS employees who need to make routine purchases as part of their job function are issued P-cards. No elected official has access to a SCS P-card.
Mr. Riley visited the Central Office on March 20, 2014 to inspect and review the requested documents. He chose to review the statements from July 2013 and August 2013 during that visit. Mr. Riley flagged and requested additional documentation for 17 employee P-card statements from those specified months. View Mr. Riley’s March 20, 2014 request here.
Of those 17 statements and documented receipts:
- Ten statements were for purchases made by daycare employees for our school daycare programs. Items purchased included snacks, activity supplies and field trip expenses. School daycares are self-funded through fees paid by parents for daycare services. Per Tennessee Department of Education requirements, monies raised through daycare fees can only be used on expenses for the children served in that school’s daycare.
- Three statements were from employees whose departments are funded through state and federal grants. The majority of the flagged purchases were for classroom supplies to support our EL (English Learners) and Unity.com programs.
- Three statements were from employees using General Purpose Budget funds. Our General Purpose Budget is funded by a combination of state revenue and county revenue through property and sales tax. The flagged purchases represent the purchases of classroom instructional supplies, routine training for employees and other routine district purchases.
- One statement was from a Career and Technical Education (CTE) employee who used their P-card to hold rooms for Beech High School students to attend a HOSA competition. These rooms were paid for from the Beech High School activity fund account, and the hold was fully credited back to the district, leaving a zero balance.
The side menu links include the supporting documentation for Mr. Riley’s request, as well as further explanation of the funding sources and how these items are used within our district. We encourage everyone to review these pages and their links to the supporting documentation for each purchased item to further understand how they are used within our school system. We felt like it was important for all citizens to have access to this information.