Reports from auditors don’t use terms like “Liar, liar pants on fire,” but if they did it appears that’s how the report recently released by the North Carolina state auditor on the Guilford County Schools would read.
The North Carolina state auditor completed an investigative audit in response to allegations that Guilford County Schools’ vehicles were being used for personal use.
The “Key Finding” of the audit is, “Investigators were unable to determine if the Department vehicles included in the allegation were used for personal use because the Department did not maintain documentation of vehicle usage.”
The allegations were that three GCS vehicles assigned to the Building Services Department and driven by the senior executive director, the director of maintenance and operations, and the director of health and safety, custodial services and logistics had been used for personal use in violation of a GCS policy that GCS vehicles “are not to be used for personal use at any time.”
According to the state auditor’s report, not only did GCS not have documentation for the usage of these three vehicles but it did not have documentation for “any of the 120 vehicles assigned to the Department.”
The school board responded to the audit report with a letter signed by Chair of the Guilford County Board of Education Deena Hayes and school board members Dianne Bellamy-Small, Linda Welborn, Khem Irby, Bettye Jenkins, Crissy Pratt, Deborah Napper and Alan Sherouse.
The state auditor’s report states, “In their response to the investigative report, the School System made statements that mislead the reader.”
The report quotes the GCS response as stating, “To be clear, there was no evidence that the vehicles were used inappropriately at any time by any employee.”
The state auditor responds, “The School System’s statement is misleading.
“As clearly stated in the report, there was no way to determine if the vehicles were used for personal use because there was no documentation to support the business purpose for the miles driven and the locations traveled to for the three vehicles included in the allegation.”
The state auditor’s report also quotes the GCS response, “All three of the directors are aware and abide by the policy and there is no evidence to the contrary.”
The state auditor responds, “Again, the School System’s statement is misleading.
“Without documentation to support the business purpose for the miles driven and the locations traveled to, there was no way to determine if the Directors were following the School System’s policy regarding vehicle use.”