KCTCS issues response to state auditor’s office

Published on Feb 1, 2024

On February 1, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) issued its response to a special examination report received in December from the state auditor’s office, fulfilling the requirement for a response within 60 days. The response details actions taken and next steps; among them, an additional forensic audit suggested by the auditor’s office. 

“I’m committed to fixing the problems outlined by the audit as well as other concerns that have come to my attention,” stated KCTCS President Quarles. “The audit examination concluded before my presidency began on January 1, and I’m still learning the totality of needed corrections.”

In a letter to State Auditor Allison Ball, Quarles pledged his full support to take the necessary steps to correct all issues and fully comply with the report’s recommendations: “I intend to focus swiftly and keenly on the necessary remedies to move KCTCS forward with a clean slate so that the System, under my leadership, can provide the best education to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” he wrote.

KCTCS noted in its response that staff have already taken some actions and are in the process of others to address the report’s findings. Included in the completed actions was the return of $24 million in excess funds collected from the colleges by the System Office.

KCTCS Board of Regents Chair Barry Martin said, “KCTCS is the backbone of workforce development in Kentucky, and we believe a comprehensive review of the System is needed so we can position ourselves for the future.”

Regarding the forensic audit, KCTCS issued an RFP on January 29 with a request for completion by October 2024. Forensic audits are used wherever an entity’s finances present a legal concern. Since taking the presidency on January 1, 2024, Quarles noted several issues that have occurred over the past several years including:

  • Possible improper administration of public contracting,
  • Improper employee benefit trust administration,
  • Former general counsel operating without a law license,
  • Improper use of institution funds to pay for personal education expenses,
  • Refusal to maintain transparency in the use of public funds,
  • Possible personal dealing in the use of public funds, and
  • A general lack of proper checks and balances in financial matters.

A full update on the state audit and forensic audit will be presented at the March 14, 2024, Board of Regents meeting.

The KCTCS full response is available online.