Jan 242014

By Nick Worth
The Navajo County Community College District Governing Board heard the results of a recent audit of Northland Pioneer College by the Office of the Auditor General at Tuesday’s board meeting.
Jay Zsorey of the Auditor General’s office introduced his staff, and told the board about the scope and purpose of the audit. According to Zsorey, his team carried out audits not only on the district’s finances, but also on its compliance with the regulations of four different federal programs.
On the financial side, Zsorey told the board the district is in good shape.
“The financial statements were found to be reliable,” Zsorey said. He noted there were two findings in the audit, which were detailed in a highlight report of the audits.
“For the financial statement audit, we found an internal control weakness over the district’s information systems and an instance of noncompliance with laws and regulations,” read the AG’s report.
One of the findings concerned internal controls in the district’s IT (information technology) department.
“The district lacked adequate internal controls over its information systems to ensure that users’ access rights were appropriate for their job responsibilities and that activity of system users with elevated access was monitored,” read the report. “As a result, there was an increased risk of theft, manipulation, or misuse of financial, sensitive, or confidential information by users whose access was not adequately restricted or monitored.”
The report recommended the district restrict access to its information systems and monitor the activity of system users with elevated access.
“Access levels are a common finding,” Zsorey told the board.
In the audit of the federal program requirements, the Auditor General’s staff found two noncompliance issues.
“The district did not always maintain complete and accurate records for equipment purchased for the Higher Education-Institutional Aid program,” read the report. “Specifically, the district’s capital assets listing did not always contain an identifying number or accurate location information, and the district did not always tag its equipment as required by its own procedures.”
The second finding dealt with a lack of documentation.
“Between July 2012 and December 2012, the district did not certify that employee compensation charged to the Adult Education-Basic Grants to States program represented the employees’ actual time and effort spent on the program,” the audit report stated. “Beginning in January 2013, the district implemented procedures to require its employees paid with federal grant monies to certify the percentage of time they worked on a specific program. The district is also maintaining these certification documents as required.”
The AG’s office recommended the district, “ensure that its policies for tagging equipment and maintaining an accurate and complete capital assets listing are followed,” and “continue to require its employees paid with federal grant monies to certify the percentage of time they worked on a specific program.”
“Are we correct in saying we are honest and we are accurate, and that we have followed suggestions from last year?” asked board Chairman Ginny Handorf.
Zsorey told the board that was correct.