During the 2018 General Assembly, the legislature, in its infinite wisdom, allowed for school districts to post their public notices on the district’s website instead of in newspapers. Reports from across the state are showing school districts are either not posting their financial statements and other required notices or are hiding them so well no one can find them.
Then on Wednesday, news came that Scott County schools fell victim to a $3.7 million scam. Yes, $3.7 million. All from a fraudulent email.
Wonder how this will be reported the next time the school district has to post its financial statement for the current school year?
We’re asking each and every newspaper that publishes notices for the local school district to check to see if the school districts followed protocol. Did they publish a notice in the newspaper where the financial statement and school report card could be found? If so, did you try the link to make sure the district had posted all of the required information as it is required? Is the link still operable or was it taken down soon after the notice was posted in the newspaper?
We need to fight back on what the legislature did with a message that public agencies should not be allowed to only publish its information, especially financial statements, on its own website. The publication needs to involve a third-party operation, independent of any government agency.
We need that information from you so start checking now to see if your local school district is complying with the law.
From the Georgetown News-Graphic
A fraudulent email triggered a string of events targeting Scott County Schools to the tune of $3.7 million, according to a press release from Scott County Schools.
The release states the situation started Wednesday when a vendor notified the district that they had not received payment of a recent invoice. After investigating what happened, the system determined a fraudulent email led to the creation of an automated payment account and Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hub spoke with the Kentucky State Police and the FBI office in Lexington. FBI special agents and forensic accountants are conducting an investigation, focusing efforts Thursday on recovering those funds as time is of the essence. School officials do hope for a full recovery of the $3.7 million, the release said.
“We are thankful the Scott County Board of Education had the leadership and vision to add a cyber fraud policy to our insurance portfolio,” the district stated in a press release. “For the sake of transparency, we thought it important to inform the community of this situation directly and with immediacy.”
Renee Holmes, spokeswoman for Scott County Schools, said the board added the cyber fraud policy last year.
The release emphasized that there was no compromise to either the financial data system or student data management system and is narrowly defined to a specific vendor payment process. The district finance, accounting and technology team changed all passwords.