Waukee Community School District is committed to maintaining fiscal integrity with taxpayer funds. Construction projects are part of the annual audit by an external firm and have several checks and balances in place to ensure that bills are properly reviewed, coded and paid.
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Staff salaries are expenditures from the general fund. The cuts made the past two years were needed to ensure the district did not overspend the general fund. Construction projects are primarily funded through Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL), SAVE (sales tax), General Obligation Bonds and the Debt Service Fund. These funds cannot be used for salaries or program needs. This is why districts can build new buildings, but still have to make staff reductions.
Construction projects are part of the annual audit conducted by an external auditing firm and there are several checks and balances in place to ensure all contracts are properly entered into and all bills are properly reviewed, coded and paid.
Under Iowa law, construction projects exceeding $135,000, must be competitively bid utilizing a specific process outlined in Iowa Code. The school board must hold a public hearing and subsequently approve the plans, specifications, form of contract and estimated total cost of a construction project prior to awarding any bids on a project.
The school board is the only entity that can approve contracts.
The contracts for construction must be awarded to the contractor submitting the lowest responsive, responsible bid. The decision to award all construction contracts is made solely by the WCSD Board of Education upon consideration of the recommendation from the architect and/or district administration. In some cases, legal counsel may be consulted to determine the lowest responsive, responsible bid if there are irregularities in the bid process or responses.
A payment application is a form used by a contractor to seek progress payments for labor and materials that are part of the total contract amount approved by the Board of Education. A payment application must be approved the contractor, architect and school district in order for it to be valid.
The payment process typically begins when a general contractor submits a payment application to the architect. The architect then reviews the payment application and verifies that the work listed on the payment application has, in fact, been performed in accordance with the contract documents. Once that verification has been made, the architect signs off on the pay application and it is sent to the District for its review and approval.
Upon receipt of a payment application, staff members in the district business office will review the pay application and any supporting documentation from the architect and apply the appropriate budget code. If there are questions about a payment application the district staff may consult with legal counsel or the architect prior to recommending payment to the board. Next, the payment application will be submitted for board review and approval. This will appear as an action item on the board agenda, similar to how change orders are processed. Once the payment application is paid, it will be included in the list of bills to be audited and allowed by the WCSD Board of Education at its next regularly scheduled meeting. Only upon approval by the board will a payment application be paid.
Yes. In addition to oversight from the board, the district has internal controls in place to ensure the person who inputs the invoice for payment is different from the person who issues the check. There is always more than one person overseeing the payment process.
Change order requests from the contractor for increased or decreased fees or time must also be approved by the architect and submitted to the WCSD Board of Education for approval. All change orders and pay applications are approved as part of the public board meeting process.