Monday, January 23, 2017

College district's 13-year record of spotless independent audits remains intact

With the closing of the books on Proposition R, the voter-backed 2002 construction bond funds that transformed the campuses of Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, a final accountability report was presented to the Governing Board that keeps the bond’s streak of spotless audits intact.

With the last of $207 million spent of Proposition R revenue, the Board received its final financial and performance audits of the construction bond that by all measures has proven an unqualified success.

“We have much to be proud of with the completion of the Proposition R bond program,” said Governing Board President Bill Garrett. “These audits affirm that we have kept our promise to East County voters that these public dollars were spent with adherence to all laws and regulations.”

In addition to the audits on Proposition R, the Governing Board also received unblemished audit reports covering the district’s general audit; the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, the district’s auxiliary, and Proposition V, the construction bond funds approved by East County voters in 2012.

The district’s string of spotless audits remains unbroken, with the Governing Board receiving unblemished audit reports for the 13th year in a row.  

“We have a longstanding history of clean audits and this year is no exception,” said Sue Rearic, the district’s vice chancellor of Business Services. “All of our audits reflect the best opinion possible, which is unmodified. Clean audits are no small thing. It's everyone making sure our documentation is tight and we are able to substantiate our transactions.”

Although the East County college district’s annual clean fiscal reports have become almost routine, the unbroken streak of what’s known in the accounting lexicon as unmodified audits for the district is not to be taken for granted, Chancellor Cindy Miles said.

“They reflect the district’s firm commitment to accountability and transparency in its handling of taxpayer dollars,” Miles said. “It is because of this commitment that year after year, we earn these stellar audit reports.”

The district’s general audit by the firm of Christy White Accountancy Corporation shows that the district complied with all applicable laws and regulations and had no questioned costs for the last fiscal year. It confirms that the college district is fiscally sound and also gives a clean bill of health to its financial reporting practices. The annual audits by certified public accountants are required by the state education code.

Garrett said that in the case of the construction bond funds, the financial and performance audits affirm the public’s confidence in passing 2002’s Prop. R and 2012’s $398 million Proposition V. 

The passage of Prop. V paved the way for the district to continue the work started with Prop. R that resulted in the construction or renovation of 13 major facilities at the colleges. Major projects underway include a new building for Cuyamaca College’s Ornamental Horticulture department and a new Arts and Communication complex at Grossmont College. 

The financial audits by the firm Vicenti, Lloyd and Stutzman confirm that the building fund statements provided by the district fairly present the financial pictures of the Proposition R and Proposition V building funds in accordance with accepted accounting principles.
The objective of the performance audit was to determine that the proceeds of the sale of Proposition R and Proposition V bonds were used only for authorized bond projects. 

“The audits confirm we are keeping our commitment to spend the dollars exactly as promised in the ballot language,” Garrett said.

Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, located in eastern San Diego County, serve almost 30,000 students. 

For more information about the district and its colleges, go to

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