PSS gets top audit grade

Unbiased audit says of ‘clean opinion’
Posted on Jul 10 2019


The CNMI Public School System maintains that it has received the highest opinion, the best audit grade possible from an unbiased, independent and federally-mandated audit for fiscal 2018, which was performed by Burger and Comer, P.C., the Office of Commissioner of Education Glenn P. Muna said in a statement yesterday.

In particular, the audited year revealed that PSS successfully managed and administered $91.914 million in combined monies ($43.348 million local and $48.565 million federal). This is the largest funding ever administered by PSS since its strict adherence to external/independent audit in 2009.

The independent audit was completed on June 30, 2019 and findings were presented during the July 2, 2019 CNMI Board of Education meeting. A copy was also submitted to the Office of the Public Auditor. The audit was conducted in conformity with the auditing standards generally accepted by the U.S. Government Auditing Standards and issued by the Comptroller General of the United States.

In its expert professional judgement of “PSS Financial Statements,” Burger & Comer, P.C. said: “In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the respective financial position of the governmental activities, each major fund, and the aggregate remaining fund information of the PSS, as of September 30, 2018, and the respective changes in financial position for the year then ended in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.”

Burger & Comer, P.C. has a strong positive opinion on each of PSS’ major federal programs. In particular, the 70-page report noted that “(t)he PSS complied, in all material respects, with the types of compliance requirements referred to above that could have a direct and material effect on each of its major federal programs for the year ended September 30, 2018.”

In arriving at an “unmodified” or clean opinion, Burger & Comer, P.C.’s expert opinion particularly highlighted “no material noncompliance to financial statement noted” on PSS’ finances and its expenditure of both federal and local funds.

Burger & Comer, P.C. also particularly noted that there was “no question cost identified for Fiscal 2018” and “all travel and financial statement findings in previous audit were resolved”.

Thus, PSS once again achieved—or continually qualifies—as a low-risk auditee.

Based on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), the “unmodified opinion” is the “best” or highest of all four (4) types of audit findings. It is issued when an auditor determines that each of the financial records provided is free of any misrepresentation.

In addition, a clean opinion indicates that financial records have been maintained in accordance with the GAAP.

Following the “unmodified opinion,” the three other types of audit report according to ranking are: qualified opinion, adverse opinion and disclaimer opinion. (PSS)

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