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COC Gets Good Grades From Auditor

Posted: February 11, 2008 11:19 a.m.
Updated: April 13, 2008 2:03 a.m.
The financial state of the Santa Clarita Community College District, the College of the Canyons Foundation and the college's two local bond measures are all in full compliance with state, local and federal law, a series of independent audits has confirmed.

Last month COC Superintendent-President Dianne Van Hook, the COC board of trustees, the Measure C Citizens Oversight Committee and Measure M Citizens Oversight Committee were presented with audit findings for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007. Audits were performed by Vavrinek, Trine, Day and Co. of Rancho Cucamonga.
The results of the series of six audits - one each for the district and COC foundation, and two for each bond measure - noted no exceptions, meaning no adjustments were found and that funds had been handled and spent properly.
In addition, College of the Canyons was issued an unqualified report, the best rating possible, for the district's financial statements and federal and state awarded funds - while also receiving high praise from the firm, which complimented the college's staff for operating with such great financial responsibility.
"I have reviewed the district's audit, and once again it confirms and reaffirms the highest level of fiscal stability in the Santa Clarita Community College District and attests to our compliance with appropriate accounting procedures and controls," Van Hook said.
Findings of the audit showed the value of the district's net assets increasing almost 48 percent to roughly $55.7 million in the last fiscal year - growth attributed to recently completed and ongoing capital projects including the COC Canyon Country Campus, and new Hasley Hall, Aliso Lab, Aliso Hall and Physical Education buildings on the Valencia campus.
The district also ended the fiscal year with a fund balance of more than $7.8 million, roughly 12 percent of the general fund's unrestricted expenses. The California Community College Chancellor's office sets a minimum prudent fund balance of five percent of general fund unrestricted expenses.
The independent audit of the COC Foundation also showed no findings of concern, but did highlight some of the organization's financial growth over the last year. In total, the COC Foundation provided the district and its students with more than $882,000 in total contributions - including instructional support to academic programs, student programs and clubs and the awarding of student scholarships - while also holding reserve fund balances of more than $3.9 million for future use by the district, and roughly $971,000 in restricted endowment and scholarship accounts which benefits the district and its students through the use of interest earnings.
The college's two voter-approved general-obligation bonds - Measure C and Measure M - each underwent separate performance and financial audits to ensure that the college's expenditures are appropriate and disbursements are made in accordance with all laws and regulations. In each case, no exceptions were noted, meaning no adjustments were found and bond funds were spent appropriately.
For Measure C - the $82.1 million bond measure approved by Santa Clarita Valley voters in 2001 - auditors tested 52 percent of all bond transactions and found no exceptions, with all documents supporting transactions in order.
For Measure M - the $160 million bond measure approved in 2006 - auditors examined 100 percent of the bond transactions, at the request of the college, and again found no exceptions, with all supporting documentation in proper order. Typically auditors only examine a randomly selected portion of the bond transactions.
Funds generated by both bonds have been used to build a variety of new facilities, make much-needed campus upgrades and improvements, and help open the new Canyon Country Campus. Present and future projects that will benefit from bond proceeds include the permanent University Center, currently under construction on the southern edge of the Valencia campus, and an expanded library and student services building.


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