LA College Board Establishes Inspector General

The Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees approved establishing an Office of Inspector General and launching a whistle-blower program, a pair of additional steps to tighten spending controls on the District’s $6 billion construction effort.

The board voted during March to unanimously to adopt the inspector general and whistle-blower resolutions. The votes follow other recent board actions to more tightly manage the LACCD’s construction operation, also known as the Sustainable Building Program:

  • In November, the board authorized bringing in an outside firm, Capstone Advisory Group LLC, to conduct an organizational review of the building program. Capstone’s work still is under way, but its preliminary suggestions gave rise to today’s adopted resolutions to create an Office of Inspector General and the whistle-blower program.
  • The board also recently voted to reduce the “multiplier,” or markup, that firms participating in the management of the building program can charge the District for employing building program staff.

“We are taking these steps to tighten controls and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent appropriately,” said Dr. Tyree Wieder, Interim Chancellor of the LACCD.

Most of the funds for the building program, which is carrying out major modernization efforts at all of the District’s nine colleges and has gained widespread attention for its environmental friendly practices, come from bond measures totaling $5.7 billion. The measures were passed by voters in 2001, 2003 and 2008

The Inspector General resolution, while noting that the building program undergoes annual audits, said that there also is “a need for ongoing monitoring of the management of bond-funded projects and appropriateness of related expenditures district-wide.” It said that the inspector general “will be responsible for the objective on-going review of performance, financial integrity and legal compliance of the bond construction program.”

The Inspector General will report directly to the Board of Trustees, with day-to-day oversight from the District Chancellor. The resolution does not specify either the budget for the Office of Inspector General or the length of service, but it potentially could continue through the completion of construction, which is expected in 2014.

The Office of Inspector General will have the authority to monitor, and recommend corrective steps on, contracting and all other business practices of the building program.