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Audit finds UND out of compliance with some state regulations

The audit, a standard procedure carried out at regular intervals, found some departments did not complete annual inventories of fixed assets. The audit also found the school did not follow some state regulations surrounding building projects. The issue surrounding employee information was discovered in an audit in 2018.

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An audit from the state Auditor’s Office recommends UND take steps to better keep track of employee information, among other issues.

The audit, a standard procedure carried out at regular intervals, found some departments did not complete annual inventories of fixed assets. The audit also found the school did not follow some state regulations surrounding building projects. The issue surrounding employee information was discovered in an audit in 2018.

“The University of North Dakota did not have the required information in a centrally located official personnel file for five out of 31 faculty,” read a portion of the audit. “The missing information included evaluations and contracts. This was a prior recommendation from the fiscal year 2018 audit.”

In 2018, the audit found four faculty did not have evaluations, which put the university at odds with its own policy, state law and North Dakota University System policy. A similar conclusion was reached in the most recent audit, and recommended UND maintain a centrally located official personnel file, to remain in compliance.

UND accepted the recommendations of the state auditor.

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“The Office of the Provost continues to engage in process improvement to ensure that faculty personnel files are properly maintained in Perceptive Content, special software used to store such data,” said Heather Wages, director of policy and administration for the UND Division of Academic Affairs. “… Difficulties related to the COVID-19 pandemic and staff turnover may have contributed to the delay in scanning the required documentation into Perceptive Content.”

Concerning building projects, the audit found, among other issues, UND did not properly advertise projects at the Chester Fritz Library and College of Business. According to Mike Pieper, associate vice president of facilities, UND used a state procurement website for vendors. Pieper said the audit directed UND to also advertise in local newspapers, as well as the local Builders Exchange. The university agreed to make the changes.

Another issue was a UND-employed engineer involved in recent building projects had an out-of-state professional license, in this case from Nebraska. UND will need to use an engineer with an in-state license for future projects. UND’s engineer is in the process of obtaining an in-state license, Pieper said.

The audit also found that three departments – athletics, physics and astrophysics and the television center – did not conduct annual inventories for fixed assets in the fiscal years 2019 and 2020. The inventory process is mandated by law to track and account for property.

The audit recommended the university take steps to ensure the annual inventories are completed to remain in compliance with state law, to which the university agreed. UND’s Office of the Vice President for Finance and Operations will become involved with the review process earlier, and will notify any department that has not completed its inventory by the time the internal deadline has passed. Vice presidents of those departments will be responsible for completing the process.

The audit found UND’s endowment fund to be managed and invested in accordance with applicable state laws, regulations and the endowment’s agreement.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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