COD's unusual way of selecting auditor

Yes, the College of DuPage recently hired the firm of CliftonLarsonAllen to conduct the college's annual external audit. This firm is especially well known for never catching on to the fact over about 20 years that the city of Dixon comptroller was an embezzler, who siphoned away $53.7 million in the biggest municipal fraud in U.S. history. It resulted in CLA's settlement of paying over $34 million to Dixon.

COD's selection process used was quite unusual from the get go. A committee of COD Finance Department employees was allowed to select the final two out of a mere five proposals received, from 60 solicited. That's a major problem because it is their very own work to be audited; analogous to asking the proverbial fox to guard the hen house.

The unusual selection of CLA leaves major unanswered questions. For example; why did COD's Interim CFO deem it necessary, and highly unusual, to recuse herself from the selection process? Why did the fact of the top 11 Chicago area community colleges excluded use of CLA not carry significant weight? And; why was so much weight found acceptable for CLA's only one Illinois community college reference: Eastern Illinois Community College in Olney, 260 miles due south of COD, with a $32.5 million budget. And why was it not stated this reference was for only one year?

COD had been a leader in local governmental accounting in Illinois, and the nation, receiving the GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 22 consecutive years. However, participation in that program halted suddenly last year. Why was the public not informed, nor given the reason? All these questions were presented by me to the COD board, but no answers provided. How sad?

Roger Kempa


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