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State audit finds holes at New College



State auditors found several problems with New College's tracking of finances, employee travel and cell phone use, according to a just-released operational audit for the budget year ending June 30, 2007.

The State Auditor General also found that New College officials did not properly verify whether some students are Florida residents, a fact that determines how much tuition they pay. Moreover, the tiny public liberal arts college in Sarasota obtained insurance for some campus buildings that far exceeded the facilities' actual value.

New College administrators have responded to the audit, saying they concur with the findings and are implementing the fixes that auditors recommended.

Among the audit's findings:

  • Finance journal entries are not reviewed by supervisors.
  • A test of records for 20 random students found that for six of them, New College did not have the documents required to prove Florida residency.
  • New College does not have a policy requiring background or fingerprint checks for people in positions of responsibility.
  • For the 61 employees who spent $338,000 on university-issued credit cards, New College did not review whether employees exceeded the purchase limits of $3,000 daily and $999 per single purchase.
  • New College allowed more than 30 employees to use college cell phones for personal use, but did not check records to verify whether employees were reimbursing the college for those calls, as required.
  • New College did not have proper documentation for more than $7,000 worth of travel expenses.
  • University officials might have obtained too much insurance for some buildings and their contents. One building was insured for $9.3 million even though the cash value is listed as less than $3-million.

The full report and New College's response are available here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:25am]


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