Audit: School of the Arts employee gave state laptop to her son

jstancill@newsobserver.comAugust 29, 2013 

A state audit has found that the top technology official at UNC School of the Arts misused state property by giving her son a university laptop.

The employee, Lisa Smith, chief information officer, was suspended for two weeks without pay as a result, a university spokeswoman said Thursday.

The audit said that the employee, who manages all computing and telecommunications at the Winston-Salem university, gave her son a 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro laptop for his personal use while he attended Appalachian State University.

Smith had bought two Apple laptops in 2010 for her department. She told auditors that one had connectivity problems, which prompted her to buy a second laptop.

She said she took the malfunctioning computer home and her son eventually took it to college.

But the audit said investigators found that the laptop worked properly.

Further, Smith had tried to conceal her son’s use of the computer by deleting his user profile, the audit said.

The son’s use of the laptop violated the school’s technology use policy and its fixed assets policy, the audit said.

The audit reported that during a three-year period, Smith purchased $13,098 worth of computer and TV equipment for her own use.

The audit recommended disciplinary action, a physical inventory of school equipment annually and a policy requiring department heads to gain supervisors’ approval for equipment purchases.

It suggested that the school’s policy on equipment be emphasized with department heads.

In a response to the audit, Interim Chancellor James Moeser agreed with Auditor Beth Wood’s findings.

He wrote that the university had enacted corrective actions and new procedures to reduce the risk of property misuse.

He also pointed out that UNCSA had only had one audit finding in 22 years.

“Does this mean that the internal control environment is perfect? No. Can it be improved? Absolutely,” Moeser wrote.

Stancill: 919-829-4559

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