Gibson was selected by the Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) Board to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of selected functional areas within the Local Education Agency (LEA). Gibson’s scope of the performance audit included a review of the following functional areas: governance and management, senior academic management, financial management, human resources management, and information technology. Gibson made 35 recommendations to improve operating efficiency and effectiveness. Several recommendations were made that addressed challenges in all of the functional areas reviewed:
- Overhaul several elements of board governance, including the clarification of legal versus local policies, improving budget information presented to the Board, a more efficient board meeting structure, and a more consistent application of Roberts’ Rules of Order.
- Streamline business processes to reduce reliance on manual, paper-intensive processes, and integrate disparate information systems. Many areas within Financial Management and Human Resource Management were mired in paper processes, which monopolized staff time and represented increased risk to the LEA. Gibson made several process improvement recommendations to develop automated workflows and strengthen internal controls through preventive configuration controls.
- Implement performance management frameworks to hold central office departments accountable for meeting goals and objectives. Gibson noted a lack of system-wide performance measurement, which was a contributing factor to many outdated processes within the LEA.
The inefficiency in AACPS’ business processes resulted in much higher levels of clerical positions relative to its peers. The estimated cost savings associated with reducing the clerical/staff ratio to their peer average was approximately $3 million annually.