GPC budget crisis recap: a year later, all is well?

In Open Records by David Schick

Almost two years after Georgia Perimeter College’s $25 million budget shortfall and everything appears to be back to normal.

In an email from Interim President Rob Watts earlier this year, he confirmed to faculty and staff via email that all is well at GPC:

Just as a reminder, we had an extremely poor state audit report for the previous fiscal year, fiscal year 2012, which covered the period July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, ground zero of the college’s financial crisis.  The fiscal year 2012 report contained seven audit findings, of which five were classified as material weaknesses, the worst kind of audit finding.  In addition, the auditors found a number of figures in our financial statements that they needed to correct.

David SchickGPC budget crisis recap: a year later, all is well?

Lay of the open records lawsuit

In Open Records by David Schick

As many of you know, I filed lawsuit against the University System of Georgia on June 10, 2013. Since then a lot has happened.

USG’s Verified Answers and Defenses

In response to my complaint, the Board of Regents is invoking several defenses from claiming that “no wrongful act [was] committed” to the doctrine of “sovereign immunity.” I doubt that any of their defenses will hold up, but my guess is that this is an attempt to throw everything they can at us to see what sticks. Also, the BOR claims that my allegations and requests are now “moot” because — after I was forced to file a lawsuit — they “produced all responsive documents within [their] possession custody, and control.”

If you’ll remember, I wrote several blog posts that highlighted how business is conducted among top officials at the USG following their response to my complaint, which included open records that had not yet been produced. It also raised more questions regarding Georgia Perimeter College’s budget deficit.

David SchickLay of the open records lawsuit

CBS joins the investigation

In Open Records by David Schick

Last night CBS Atlanta News did a segment on my lawsuit against the University System of Georgia, which I filed over open records act violations while investigating Georgia Perimeter College’s $16 million dollar deficit.

My story is just another piece of the puzzle in a series of investigations into the Board of Regents by Jeff Chirico that show: Regents don’t read employee appeals, Regents accused of ethical violations, and — surprise! — Regents hiding records that show mismanagement.

I’m really glad that this story came out and I hope it continues to shine the light on USG’s Board of Regents, a governing body with no accountability. This cannot be acceptable. I don’t claim to know all the answers, but I don’t think allowing a Governor to appoint whoever he wants to be in charge of a billion dollar budget is the way to go.

David SchickCBS joins the investigation

To the commenters on my blog

In Misc Schick by David Schick11 Comments

Normally I would respond to each person individually, but given the level of bickering going on I figured I might as well address all of it in one fell swoop.

  1. Above all else, I am an advocate for full disclosure and accountability in government. Can anyone tell me to a 100 percent certainty where the money at Georgia Perimeter College was misspent? No, you cannot. Not if you’re relying solely on their special review audit.

    The millions of dollars that was just misspent because the “right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing” is inexcusable. What’s more, the internal audit (no conflict of interest there) was incomplete, did not represent a full scale audit, and even admits that “fraud or malfeasance” could have gone undetected because of its incompleteness.

David SchickTo the commenters on my blog

Crowdsourcing: newest batch of University System of Georgia emails

In Misc Schick, Open Records by David Schick19 Comments

I’ve had a productive week on this blog thanks to a new release of documents from the University System of Georgia. Granted, it’s not the full amount that I’ve requested, but this latest set of emails shows that my “broad” request was necessary. The wider the net, the less of a chance the USG will have to fish out what they don’t want us to see.

Once again, they used the same process of printing out each document and scanning them back into a PDF image file as to circumvent the ability to keyword search. I’m almost positive that this isn’t accidental. As I’ve done before, I ran the emails through an optical character recognizer, so anyone has the ability to search these 700 something pages of emails.

Here’s the download link.

Please feel free to email me any tips. I’ll respect all requests for anonymity.

David SchickCrowdsourcing: newest batch of University System of Georgia emails

University System of Georgia colleges on a ‘GPC path’

In Open Records by David Schick13 Comments

Before the news of Georgia Perimeter College’s fiscal misfortunate broke, John Fuchko, USG’s chief audit officer, expressed his concerns regarding other institutions.

While the USG officially claimed to have no culpability their lack of budget oversight, Steve Wrigley, executive vice chancellor for administration, wrote he was “flabbergasted the system office allowed it to go on.”

In that same email between Wrigley, John Fuchko, chief audit officer, and John Brown, vice chancellor for fiscal affairs, discuss a talking points memo regarding what went wrong at GPC.

Georgia Gwinnett College then comes on the radar when Ben Riden, associate vice chancellor for fiscal affairs, says that GGC’s auxiliaries were “headed toward a negative overall operating position in 2013.”

Brown further’s this concern in another email, subject line entitled: “Help!”

David SchickUniversity System of Georgia colleges on a ‘GPC path’