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Audit reveals lack of oversight at college

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BATON ROUGE - A scathing audit suggests big changes need to be made at the Capital Area Technical College run by Baton Rouge Community College. 

The audit found there was a lack of financial oversight at the college, which serves hundreds of students in 15 different programs.

Corey Brumfield is one of those students taking classes for graphics.

"We trust them with our money," Brumfield said. "We want our money to be spent well and wisely."

In the 43-page audit, the state found and identified deficiencies in how the school was being run.  There was inaccurate financial reporting for things like grants and gifts, as well as an inadequate separation of duties. In one instance the audit found the chief business officer wrote off more than $135,000 in student debt without approval, and approved $1.5 million dollars in purchases without any oversight.

School leaders responded to the audit and said changes are now in place. Training will be provided to any employee who deals with money. Also, any issues involving money will be reviewed by the chief financial officer.

"The policies and procedures we have in place are to ensure these sort of incidents don't happen, and we're confident that will be the case going forward," BRCC Spokesman Steve Mitchell said.

The school merged with Baton Rouge Community College in July 2013, and the audit covers a timeframe before that merger. BRCC said under its policies those issues shouldn't happen again, which is welcome news for people like Brumfield.

"They are taking our money so I hope they are doing something right with it," Brumfield said.

The audit was conducted as part of the approval process for the school's merger. A point person has been assigned to ensure compliance.


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