This story was updated on July 31, 2012.
The Montgomery County school system now will be required to submit to the County Council each month more details and descriptions about revenue and spending.
According to a July 20 memo from school system Chief Operating Officer Larry Bowers, the school systemís monthly reports will detail actual year-to-date expenditures and encumbrances in each category, greater detail on reasons for a surplus or deficit in budget categories and explanations of sources of revenue.
The council and school board are still cooling from a battle last summer in which the council accused the school system of hiding a $14.5 million budget surplus.
In January, the countyís inspector general said the school system should be providing more detailed budget information. Since then, school system finance officials have been working to see that council members have the information they want each month.
The discussion is going well, although there is still work to be done to see that the council has a clear picture at all times, Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring said Thursday at a meeting of the councilís education committee.
On Tuesday, the County Council approved a request from the Office of Legislative Oversight to conduct a report in fiscal 2013 of budgets of county agencies such as the school system and parks and planning, taking a specific look at employee wages and salaries, other employee benefits and debt service.
Most importantly, the study will look into spending decisions made by the boards, Ervin said.
Ervin, who chairs the education committee, said the council had relied on the Montgomery County Board of Education to look at such details; now the council will take a more active role.
School board President Shirley Brandman announced at the end of the meeting that the school system has, for the eighth consecutive year, been awarded the Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for excellent financial reporting in fiscal 2011.
After the meeting, Brandman said the award reflects well not only on the school board, but the county as a whole.