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The State Auditor’s Office has released an audit of the North Dakota Highway Patrol which found that key card access to the State Capitol building is not being adequately monitored.

Key card access to the State Capitol building allows for state employees and contractors to enter the building without first going through Capitol security. While access to the North Dakota Capitol building is open to the public, all visitors are required to pass through a security screening including a metal detector when entering the building. The goal of the screening is to deter and detect danger to both people and property.

The audit revealed the Highway Patrol is not monitoring records of terminated employees and disabling key card access. The audit also found a 56% error rate of access key cards for contractors issued for excessive and unnecessary lengths of time. While the Highway Patrol key card access policy states contractor cards should be set to expire one year from the creation date, the audit found several contractors were given up to 78 years of key card access.

“The most important resource on the Capitol grounds are the people,” said State Auditor Joshua Gallion. “All employees, visitors, and contractors play a role in making sure the building is properly secured. By taking steps to improve procedures for key card access, the Highway Patrol can better serve the people who come to the State Capitol building.”

The number of visitors who entered through the security checkpoint during our audit period was 175,209. Employees and contractors used access cards to enter the building 735,452 different times. This audit is a result of the State Auditor’s Office statutory responsibility to audit or review each state agency once every two years. The complete audit report for the two-year audit period ended June 30, 2020, can be found here.

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