July 16, 2015 2015-032
The Governor of California
President pro Tempore of the Senate
Speaker of the Assembly
Sacramento, California 95814
Dear Governor and Legislative Leaders:
As required by Chapter 804, Statutes of 2002, the California State Auditor (state auditor) presents this audit report concerning the accuracy of 2013 crime statistics compiled and reported by a selection of California postsecondary educational institutions (institutions). This report also describes the results of our examination of these institutions’ issuance of annual security reports, notification of the reports’ availability, and disclosures of campus security policies required under the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act).
This report concludes that the six institutions we visited did not fully comply with the Clery Act requirements. Five of the six institutions reported inaccurate crime statistics, and only one of the six institutions disclosed all of the required policies in its annual security report. Further, we found that the most frequently incomplete or missing policy disclosures related to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, effective in March 2014, which added specific policy statements that institutions must include in their annual security reports. If institutions do not make all required disclosures, students and other stakeholders may not have the information necessary to make informed decisions about their personal security, such as the prevention of crime.
Since the requirement for the state auditor to audit compliance with the Clery Act was added by statute in 2002, we have conducted five audits of a selection of California’s institutions. Because of the similarity of the issues we identified in this report and in our four previous reports, we believe that California’s institutions’ compliance with the Clery Act could improve with additional guidance from the systemwide offices for the State’s public institutions and from a state entity that provides guidance to all institutions. Without additional guidance at the state level, California’s institutions may continue to report inaccurate crime statistics and fail to adequately disclose policies in their annual security reports—misinforming users of the reports and increasing the institutions’ risk of incurring federal financial penalties.
ELAINE M. HOWLE, CPA