Attorney General requesting to investigate Richland One purchase cards, district responds

A new pilot program is bringing metal detectors to select Richland School District One Schools.
A new pilot program is bringing metal detectors to select Richland School District One Schools.(Richland One)
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 1:59 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2022 at 5:14 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Attorney General Alan Wilson said the Inspector General has been asked to investigate purchase card usage in the Richland One school district. Wilson sent a letter to Governor Henry McMaster requesting the governor to engage the Inspector General.

In a release, Wilson said in part, “Based on an initial review by my Office the allegations about Richland One are not isolated but may be representative of a systematic problem throughout South Carolina.”

On Friday, Aug. 12th, the district responded with a message sent to staff and parents regarding the allegations of misuse. The district said it has internal controls monitoring purchasing cards.

It also said Richland One has an Internal Auditor on staff that routinely looks at schools and departments, “We see this as an additional layer of checks and balances above and beyond internal controls, processes and procedures.”

The district said in August of 2021 the auditor conducted a routine review of their P-Card program for 2020 transactions. The report found no fraud or intentional misuse and recommendations from the findings were implemented. This set of information was shared during a board meeting on Feb. 8, 2022.

The district said staff uncovered a matter related to a 2021 employee use of a P-Card as part of their normal processes. This former employee was investigated and reported to law enforcement. Richland One said,

“Again, there are internal controls in place that include the monthly review of all P-Card transactions. If and when any issues are found, appropriate administrative personnel actions are taken accordingly. Additionally, transparency reports can be found on the district’s website for all to see.”

The transparency reports can be found at the link here.

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