State Auditor’s Office Finds Inappropriate Activities at NDSCS; Calls for Greater Transparency and Improved Reporting

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**PRESS RELEASE**

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 15, 2019

 

State Auditor’s Office Finds Inappropriate Activities at NDSCS; Calls for Greater Transparency and Improved Reporting

 

Contact information: Brianna Ludwig, North Dakota State Auditor’s Office, 701-328-2453, bsludwig@nd.gov

A performance audit issued today by the North Dakota Office of the State Auditor shows that North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) has engaged in inappropriate activities surrounding the proposed Career Workforce Academy, is not meeting TrainND Southeast program goals and is overstating program results.

The Career Workforce Academy is a program initiated by NDSCS and the school districts of Fargo, West Fargo, Northern Cass, Central Cass, Kindred and Moorhead. The report found an undisclosed conflict of interest between the Division of Workforce Affairs Vice President and Flint Group regarding a $39,500 contract to develop a strategic plan. NDSCS failed to provide the State Auditor’s Office with numerous emails relating to the procurement of this contract. The report also details the unauthorized and questionable use of state and local funds spent fundraising for the Career Workforce Academy. The report goes on to detail the inappropriate method used to obtain approval for the Career Workforce Academy by the NDSCS president.

The report also outlines TrainND Southeast’s inadequate accountability for goals and ineffective controls related to reporting, leading to the overstatement of results and actual results falling short of program goals. For example, in academic year 2018, TrainND Southeast reported $365,000 in direct revenue, which was 27 percent of its $1,360,000 goal.

“The activities we’ve discovered during our audit are concerning, and the report points to several changes that must be made by leadership at NDSCS to get back on track,” said State Auditor Joshua Gallion. “Citizens should feel assured their tax dollars are used responsibly. That begins with integrity and transparency from the top down.”

To view the complete report, which includes report highlights, several recommendations, tables and graphs, go to http://bit.ly/NDSCSaudit.

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