|Public Release Date: May 2, 1997||No. 97-23|
Minneapolis Community and Technical College is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU). MnSCU began operations on July 1, 1995, when the state of Minnesota merged the community colleges, state universities, and technical colleges into one system of higher education. MnSCU consolidated Minneapolis Community College and Minneapolis Technical College in February 1996 to form one combined college. The community college and the technical college continued to operate and record financial activity as separate entities until July 1, 1996, when they began to consolidate operations.
Dr. Diann Schindler, the president of Minneapolis Community College since September 1995, assumed responsibilities as the first president of the consolidated campus. Dr. Schindler resigned her position on February 21, 1997. The college is currently headed by an interim president, Mr. Phillip Davis.
The college finances its operations through student tuition, fees, and state appropriations. It also receives funding from the Minneapolis Community and Technical College Foundation (foundation), a separate, non-profit organization.
Our audit scope covered the period from July 1, 1995, through December 31, 1996. We audited general financial management controls, bookstore revenues and expenditures, tuition and fees revenue, other revenue, purchases and administrative expenditures, payroll, and a federal grant for the air traffic control program. We also audited the administration of the federal student financial aid program for fiscal year 1997. In addition, we reviewed the college's relationship with the foundation.
The overall financial management and control at the college during the audit period was weak. The consolidation of the community college and the technical college, a high turnover of staff in key financial management positions, and poor cash management practices contributed to the financial management problems. Also, the college did not fully implement all of the recommendations related to financial controls that we presented in prior audit reports.
We noted significant concerns with financial controls at the college. The college is not current with posting its financial activity to the MnSCU accounting system. The college is also not reconciling its bank accounts timely. The college did not know the balance or components of local bank accounts to properly certify a carryforward balance for fiscal year 1996.
We cannot provide assurance that all cash sales from bookstore operations were deposited or if all financial activity was properly recorded in the accounting systems. The college had no controls to provide assurance that cash collections from resale activities, parking ramp, and other miscellaneous revenues were safeguarded or properly recorded in accounting records. In addition, weak controls over payroll resulted in overpayments to employees, while other employees were not paid timely.
The college ended fiscal year 1996 with more revenues than expenditures. The college continued to make payments toward resolving the community college's prior years fiscal deficits. The college also improved the relationship with its foundation.