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Audit Audit of Northern Essex Community College (NECC)

The audit examined the period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020 and calls on the college to strengthen its inventory controls and oversight over procurement cards.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: June 30, 2021

Executive Summary

In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor has conducted a performance audit of Northern Essex Community College (NECC) for the period July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020.

In this performance audit, we examined NECC’s activities related to the administration of fixed assets and procurement cards (P-Cards). We followed up on findings from our prior audit (No. 2016-0201-3E) to determine whether NECC had implemented corrective actions to strengthen the controls over its inventory of fixed assets. We determined whether NECC disposed of its fixed assets in accordance with Section 3 of Title 802 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations and complied with the reporting requirements of Chapter 647 of the Acts of 1989. We also determined whether NECC complied with its P-Card policies and procedures when processing P-Card expenditures.

Below is a summary of our findings and recommendations, with links to each page listed.

Finding 1
 

NECC did not address the issues regarding fixed assets identified in our prior audit.

Recommendations
 

  1. NECC should review and edit its current fixed asset inventory list to include accurate locations for all assets on the list.
  2. NECC should enhance its “Inventory Control / Fixed Assets” policy to include detailed procedures for all phases of the fixed asset inventory process and provide guidance for the relocation of fixed assets.
  3. NECC should conduct annual inventory testing or physical inventories and designate an inventory coordinator to oversee and coordinate them.

Finding 2
 

NECC did not always obtain required documentation, including approvals, for procurement card expenditures.

Recommendations
 

  1. NECC should ensure that all required supporting documentation for P-Card expenditures is provided.
  2. NECC should enforce its P-Card policies and procedures.

Finding 3
 

NECC did not ensure that its security vendor maintained required incident reports and daily crime logs.

Recommendations
 

  1. NECC should implement monitoring controls to ensure that its security vendor complies with the requirements of its contract with NECC, including those of maintaining incident reports and daily crime logs.
  2. NECC’s staff members or security vendor should report all incidents to NECC’s vice president of administration and finance to file Chapter 647 reports.

Finding 4
 

NECC has not updated its internal control plan (ICP) since 2015.

Recommendations
 

  1. NECC should review and update its ICP whenever significant changes occur in objectives, risks, management structure, or program scope, but at least annually.
  2. NECC should properly document a risk response that includes all aspects of its business operations.

 

A PDF copy of the audit of Northern Essex Community College is available here.

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