From: Jobin-Davis, Camille (DOS)
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 2:52 PM
Subject: RE: External Audit Executive Session Katonah Lewisboro
You are correct. Pursuant to the Education Law, an audit committee of a school district may enter into executive session for purposes in addition to those set forth in the Open Meetings Law, as outlined in section 2116-c. I know it’s a lot of legal language, but essentially, subdivision (7) of section 2116-c permits, in part, as follows:
“…a school district audit committee may conduct an executive session pursuant to section one hundred five of the public officers law [the Open Meetings Law] pertaining to any matter set forth in paragraphs b, c, and d of subdivision five of this section.”
Subdivision (5) provides as follows:
“5. It shall be the responsibility of the audit committee to:
(a) provide recommendations regarding the appointment of the external auditor for the district;
(b) meet with the external auditor prior to commencement of the audit;
(c) review and discuss with the external auditor any risk assessment of the district's fiscal operations developed as part of the auditor's responsibilities under governmental auditing standards for a financial statement audit and federal single audit standards if applicable;
(d) receive and review the draft annual audit report and accompanying draft management letter and, working directly with the external auditor, assist the trustees or board of education in interpreting such documents;…”
In sum, the language of paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) provides grounds for an audit committee to enter into executive session in addition to those that exist in the Open Meetings Law. It appears that the school board intends to meet with an external auditor in executive session “prior to the commencement of the audit”, which, in my opinion, would be appropriate under section 2116-c(5)(b).
Camille S. Jobin-Davis, Esq.
NYS Committee on Open Government
Department of State