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Audit recommends monitoring of workforce training program data at NDSCS

The campus of the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. Special to The Forum.

WAHPETON, N.D. — A forensic investigation of the North Dakota State College of Science recommends "close monitoring" of an accounting system for the TrainND program because it does not mesh directly with the university system's computers.

The recommendation, made in a report released Monday, July 30, said registration income figures from TrainND programs are inputted manually in the North Dakota University System's data system, PeopleSoft.

"To mitigate the risk of improprieties, or incorrect reporting, we recommend regular compliance monitoring, reconciliation with PeopleSoft and the implantation of controls consistent with NDUS processes," the report from Forensic Strategic Solutions recommended.

The report was commissioned in May by the State Board of Higher Education after university system officials received complaints concerning finances, space utilization and TrainND, a workforce training program at the college.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott was traveling Monday afternoon, when the report was released, and could not be immediately reached for comment.

"The board is reviewing the report, which has been issued by a reputable third-party audit firm," said Billie Jo Lorius, a spokeswoman for the university system. "The board will act on the report in the most timely manner possible."

The report analyzed four years of financial reporting, bookkeeping records and financial transactions for TrainND at NDSCS. "Our analysis did not find any improprieties," the report said.

The audit also examined class enrollment figures in a review of space utilization at the college. "Our analysis identified a process that was performed transparently in the categorization of NDSCS rooms and reasons for the changes in room categorizations," the report said.

John Richman, NDSCS president, welcomed the report's findings.

"We believe this report of findings demonstrates NDSCS's commitment to transparency and compliance with ND State Board of Higher Education policies and procedures," Richman said in a statement. "We are committed to continuous improvement and appreciate this review of our practices."

Patrick Springer

Patrick Springer first joined the reporting staff of The Forum in 1985. He can be reached by calling 701-241-5522. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to letters@forumcomm.com

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