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 Section 67382 of the Education Code, the California State Auditor (State Auditor) presents this audit report concerning the accuracy of crime statistics compiled and reported by a selection of California postsecondary educational institutions (institutions). This report describes the results of our examination of these institutions’ issuance of annual security reports 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. Four institutions that reported criminal offenses in their recent annual security reports did not do so accurately. These errors were largely attributable to the institutions not maintaining written procedures that clearly outlined their review processes. The remaining two institutions reported no criminal offenses. However, one of these institutions failed to report two serious crimes due to miscommunication with local law enforcement. In addition, the Clery Act and federal regulations require institutions to have specific security policies in place and, in most instances, disclose these policies in their annual security reports; however, just one of the six institutions we reviewed fully complied with these requirements. 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.
Since the requirement for the State Auditor to audit compliance with the Clery Act was added by statute in 2002, we have conducted six audits of a selection of California’s institutions. Because of the similarity of the issues we have identified, we recommended in our previous report—issued in 2015—that the entities that oversee California’s public institutions (systemwide offices) issue guidance to improve their institutions’ compliance with the Clery Act. As part of our current audit, we reviewed the systemwide offices’ implementation of our previous report’s recommendations and found that while the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has recently issued sufficient guidance, the California State University’s Office of the Chancellor and the University of California’s Office of the President need to improve certain aspects of their guidance. Without complete guidance at the state level, California’s institutions will 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