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NDSCS completes "action plan" in reponse to a state audit

The North Dakota State College of Science has completed its formal “action plan” in response to a state audit.

The audit was critical of the college for lax procedures concerning conflict-of-interest, as well as some issues with the “Train ND” program. Specifically, the audit criticized NDSCS administration for not acknowledging a conflict of interest when Flint Communications was hired as a consultant. Flint’s chief financial officer is married to the college’s vice president of workforce affairs. At the time, NDSCS President John Richman said the hiring of Flint was totally his decision.

The Board directed Chancellor Mark Hagerott to draft an “action plan” to make changes based on the audit. And Hagerott reported to the Board’s Audit Committee that the work on the plan is completed.

"The NDSCS staff was very responsive," Hagerott told the Committee. "They followed up, completed all the items. I endorsed that."

Richman told the Committee he was looking forward to coming to closure on the audit.

"It has sharpened our terminology, our processes and our procedures," Richman said. "We have addressed procedures and policies to make them clearer and better understood."

Richman said NDSCS has also improved tracking procedures in financial areas and employee training.

"We found it to be valuable to go through," Richman said. "It is lengthy, but I think a lot of good has come from this audit and the responses to it."

The audit follow-up will be on the agenda of the Legislative and Fiscal Review Committee next month.

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