State reps. respond to College of DuPage's failure to meet audit deadline
Illinois State Reps. Jeanne Ives (R) and Jack Franks (D) responded to the recent failure by the College of DuPage (COD) board of trustees to meet a deadline for a state-run audit.
The legislators proposed the audit during a time of ongoing questions about financial oversight at the college, which is supported by property taxes, state appropriations and tuition. Among the recently reported fiscal challenges at the school are a severance package for school President Robert Breuder of approximately $763,000 and the apparent theft of more than $200,000 from the campus radio station by a former employee.
Lawmakers called for an audit of the school's performance by the Illinois auditor general, but the board of trustees failed to approve the audits cost and conditions by the March 12 deadline. COD’s attorney then said it would meet with lawmakers to discuss COD’s conditions for the audit.
"The Office of the Auditor General does not negotiate or discuss parameters of an audit," Ives and Franks said in a March 18 letter. "Therefore, no meetings between the board, legislators or auditor general representatives are appropriate until the College of DuPage board of trustees takes immediate action authorizing an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA). [Our] March 13, 2015 correspondence was written to answer your questions regarding scape and financial cost, so we feel no further discussions are needed at this time."
The legislators’ letter to COD was copied to more than a dozen fellow lawmakers of both parties who supported the call for a performance audit. The bipartisan group came together after numerous reports of fiscal improprieties at COD.
"Unfortunately, public confidence in the board continues to erode. Numerous revelations of alleged questionable conduct and practices at the college detract from the educational mission and fine work that both taxpayers and students deserve from the institution. Decisive, immediate action is required to start the long reform journey that will rehabilitate the board and the reputation of the college,” Ives and Franks wrote. "We strongly encourage the board to immediately authorize an IGA that ensures compliance with House Resolution 55, as amended, or H.R. 162."