The Santa Clarita Community College District’s Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee voted to accept the results of an independent audit confirming the district properly accounted for all bond expenditures in the 2021-22 fiscal year.
Eide Bailly, LLP conducted financial and performance audits, and issued the District an unmodified opinion—the best rating possible—noting no adjustments, audit findings, questioned costs or instances of bond noncompliance.
“The audit results demonstrate our ongoing commitment to fiscal transparency and our mission to expand access to high-quality education and state-of-the-art facilities that can accommodate the needs of our students and staff as well as the training needed to support our local businesses and their workforce training needs while supporting community members who wish to continue to grow and advance in their chosen fields of employment,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook.
Auditors reviewed documents associated with 71 percent of expenditures made with bond funds, which is a higher percentage compared to normal audits due to the large dollar amount associated with capital expenditures. Purchase orders, approved invoices, bid documentation, contracts, and payments were reviewed and found to be compliant with state regulations and district board policies.
Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee Chairman Fred Arnold commended the district for providing ample documentation to facilitate the independent audit.
“Seventy one percent of an audit is very high,” said Arnold. “There’s a ton of work that goes into documenting all of this for the whole community. I commend the college and am grateful to fellow committee members for volunteering their time. I am honored to serve with you.”
Several other committee members said it was an honor to be associated with the college and expressed appreciation for all the hard work on the part of staff for ensuring that bond funds are used appropriately to complete facility projects that benefit students and the community.
The audit showed $21 million of Measure E funds spent during 2020-21, primarily on construction of the Student Services/Learning Resources Center and the Don Takeda Science Center at the college’s Canyon Country campus.
“I want to take a moment to thank Business Services managers and staff, as well as Mr. Jim Schrage, for their excellent efforts in ensuring that this audit is done in the way that was just described by the auditors, as we didn’t have any findings or issues with the audit,” said Sharlene Coleal, assistant superintendent vice president of business services at the college.
Schrage, assistant superintendent/vice president of facilities at the college, praised the college’s business services department for its fiscal acumen.
“They do a spectacular job,” said Schrage. “To get a no-comment financial audit year after year after year— they are to be applauded for their work on this.”
Since 2017, the college has spent a total of $104 million of Measure E bond revenue, according to the audit. Funded projects include the parking structure at the Valencia campus, along with the Central Energy Plant, Science Center, and Student Services/Learning Resources Center at the Canyon Country campus, as well as repairs and modernization of existing campus facilities.
Local voters approved Measure E in June 2016, providing the college with $230 million to invest in facilities upgrades.
The committee also approved its Annual Report, which is available to the community on the college’s website here.