Ken Leighton 2:46 p.m., Oct. 15
Auditors Find Myriad of Problems at SDSU
An audit of San Diego State University by California State University headquarters in Long Beach has revealed multiple lapses in the university's management of state-owned vehicle usage, driving records, operating costs, vendor insurance, and building leases.
Among other deficiencies, auditors found that SDSU officials failed to maintain records to verify that operators of state-owned vehicles had valid drivers licenses.
The auditors also concluded that campus officials failed to keep track of staff vehicle usage.
"We visited the San Diego State University campus from March 14, 2011, through April 15, 2011, and audited the procedures in effect at that time," according to the June 16 report.
"The campus motor vehicle inspection program did not include an annual analysis of operating costs and did not ensure compliance with all campus and CSU policies and procedures for vehicle use."
In particular, "Campus policies did not require departments with custody of university-owned vehicles to develop and implement a documented method to control and monitor the use of the vehicles, and vehicle logs were not consistently maintained.
"Although certain areas monitored vehicle use via vehicle logs, this was not consistent throughout the campus."
Regarding drivers of the vehicles, the report noted: "For nine of the ten drivers whose records we reviewed, the campus did not maintain authorization forms that included certification statements regarding the employee’s driving record and possession of a valid driver’s license.
"For two of the ten drivers reviewed, the campus could not provide evidence of a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) record check."
The audit went on to note that, "Failure to adequately control the use of university-owned vehicles increases the risk of exposure to unforeseen liabilities and unqualified drivers and the use of vehicles for unauthorized activities."
"Failure to perform an annual analysis of operating costs increases the risk of cost inefficiencies and increases the possibility that vehicle costs and repairs performed will exceed the value of campus vehicles."
Campus officials didn't dispute the findings, the report said, attributing many of the problems to mistakes.
"The physical plant director stated that the failure to monitor the use of university-owned vehicles outside of plant operations was due to oversight," the auditors reported.
"The director of auxiliary services, public safety, stated that certification statements had been obtained for the employees noted, but the documents had been purged by mistake.
"Further, she stated that although DMV checks had been performed for the two employees noted, the documents had been purged by mistake."
Car tracking was not the only problem turned up by the audit. "The campus did not consistently obtain evidence of required insurance coverage for service vendors," the report said. "Failure to obtain evidence of required insurance coverage increases the campus’ exposure to liability."
Additionally, "Three of the six long-term leases of state land and buildings we reviewed were not executed in a timely manner," according to auditors.
"Specifically, they were signed by the university subsequent to the start of the lease period."
SDSU officials promised to have the deficiencies identified in the audit corrected by next week, November 30, according to a July 26 letter to CSU University Auditor Larry Mandel from SDSU's business and financial affairs vice president Sally F. Roush.