Conway School District Food Service Investigation Closed

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The federal government declines to pursue criminal or civil charges after the discovery of years of excess reimbursable meals.

CONCORD, NH – The federal government has decided not to pursue criminal or civil charges and has closed an investigation into the overbilling of reimbursable meals in the Conway School District, SAU 9.

The Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the authority that regulates and investigates federal funds that are part of the school lunch program, informed the New Hampshire Department of Education this week that it was closing its investigation of the matter. The district reported that internal control deficiencies in its organization were corrected after the discovery of the overbilling.

These steps include a new process to meal tracking software and point-of-service cash registers, as well as training for employees so they will be held accountable for accuracy of the reimbursable meals process.

“Upon learning of the reimbursable meals discrepancies, SAU 9 reported that it had taken the necessary, demonstrable steps to prevent future accounting discrepancies,” Richard Sala, an attorney with the NH DOE stated. “The matter has been reviewed by all pertinent agencies and is now closed.”

The food service program was investigated after the discovery of discrepancies in counted meals and declining revenues at SAU 9. Previously, the district’s food service program ran a surplus.

After discovering the overbilling, the Conway School District requested a forensic audit of the program and investigated the matter. The NH DOE also conducted a review. The information was submitted to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office and then, the Department of Agriculture, which declined to pursue criminal or civil charges in the matter.

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