BOSTON – In an audit of Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) the Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump (OSA) found BHCC did not accurately record and report all federal COVID-19 pandemic related institutional funding.
The audit specifically identified the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, or HEERF, I), Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) (HEERF II), and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund monies, all of which were in a single account of BHCC’s accounting system. Additionally, the audit found that BHCC had not implemented an enterprise-wide cybersecurity awareness training program for newly hired or existing employees. The audit examined the time period of March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.
“BHCC received nearly $60M in COVID-19 relief dollars; therefore, the college should remain diligent in tracking how these dollars have been spent. I am pleased to hear that the college is committed to implementing our improvements and recommendations moving forward to ensure transparency and accountability to the general public and the BHCC community,” said State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump.
The audit recommends BHCC train relevant staff tasked with administering federal funds on the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Uniform Guidance as well as establish an OMB-compliant identification within the accounting system. To address the lack of cybersecurity awareness training, BHCC should consider working with necessary officials to identify ways to implement and track a program for all employees.
Auditor Bump has placed an emphasis on examining cybersecurity awareness training across government agencies and institutions of public higher education. Most recently, the OSA has released audits of Middlesex Community College and Massachusetts College of Art and Design, which called on these institutions to improve cybersecurity awareness training practices. To learn more about the OSA’s recent audits that have reviewed the spending of federal pandemic relief funding, please visit: mass.gov/COVIDReliefAudits.
BHCC is a member of the Massachusetts public higher education system, which consists of 15 community colleges, nine state universities, and five University of Massachusetts campuses. Founded in 1973, BHCC has a diverse student body that is approximately 61% people of color and more than 50% women and includes international students from 105 countries who speak more than 75 languages. In fiscal year 2021, nearly 10,000 students were enrolled at BHCC, and as of June 30, 2021, the college offered 67 associate’s degree programs and 45 certificate programs.