Government & Politics
8:33 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

County Controller Wagner: CCAC Running a “Tight Ship”

For the first time in more than a decade, a comprehensive audit was conducted of the Community College of Allegheny County. Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner said the report found operations are efficient and above-board.

“CCAC is really running a sound operation and that is something they can not only count on today, but we believe they’re running themselves in a way that will enable our residents to count on them for many many years to come, despite economic challenges,” said Wagner.

The report did make several recommendations, including improved target advertising for populations most in need of the affordable education offered at CCAC; more aggressively pursuing grant funding opportunities; avoiding sporadic, large increases in tuition; improving the performance evaluation process for employees; and improving bookstore operations.

But, Wagner emphasizes, there were no major problems found during the audit process.

“The recommendations that we made are really for CCAC to further strengthen its operation, but I can very soundly say that they are doing a good job,” she said.

On average, Allegheny County taxpayers have contributed just more than $23 million to CCAC annually. The college, like other higher education institutions, has had to figure out how to do more with less as state funding in recent years either declined or remained flat.

“We really believe from what we see that this audit justifies continues funding for CCAC but even possibly increased funding in future years, because we do see that these are taxpayer dollars being spent well for taxpayers of Allegheny County,” said Wagner.

Since taking office a little more than a year ago, Wagner has conducted audits on several large cost drivers and assets of the county. Those include audits of public works, the property assessment office, and tax exemptions and abatements, among others.