Brookdale Community College spent $790K on unauthorized or improper purchases, OSC audit finds

Brookdale also failed to properly manage vendor who ran college bookstore

  • Posted on - 03/15/2022

TRENTON – A new audit report from the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) finds that Brookdale Community College had key gaps in its purchasing practices, resulting in $790,000 of improperly authorized spending.

OSC’s audit found issues with 77 percent of the transactions it sampled, including missing documentation, receipts, or justification for the spending.

“When spending taxpayer funds, colleges have a duty to have and follow clear rules so the funds are protected,” said Acting State Comptroller Kevin D. Walsh. “Our audit of Brookdale Community College found inadequate systems that increase the risk of fraud, waste or abuse.”

OSC found that Brookdale inappropriately relied on an exception to public bidding in awarding a contract for the operation and management of its campus bookstore without public bidding or requiring disclosure of the contractor’s political contributions in violation of the “Pay to Play” law.

OSC also found that Brookdale fell short managing its bookstore by:

  • Failing to enforce key terms in its contract with the vendor, including carrying specific types of insurance and spending up to $450,000 in improvements to the bookstore.
  • Purchasing books and supplies without appropriate oversight.

Finally, OSC’s audit identified issues with how Brookdale paid employees overtime, its administration of cell phone allowances, and how it granted employees waiver payments for opting out of the health insurance program.

OSC has previously reported on the performance and spending of public colleges and universities in New Jersey. Notable reports include an analysis of community college presidents’ compensation; an audit of Rutgers University; and an examination of mandatory student fees charged by three public higher learning institutions which resulted in legislative reform.

The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) is an independent State agency that works to make government in New Jersey more efficient, transparent and accountable. OSC is tasked with examining all aspects of government expenditures, conducts audits and investigations of government agencies throughout New Jersey, reviews government contracts, and works to detect and prevent fraud, waste and abuse in Medicaid.

Stay up-to-date with the latest from OSC by following us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and on Instagram at @NewJerseyComptroller.

Waste or Abuse

Report Fraud
Waste or Abuse
Government Waste and Mismanagement Hotline: 1-855-OSC-TIPS (672-8477)