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Audit finds North Dakota State Library illegally miscategorized funds

The library would have spent about $16,000 more than its budgeted operating expenses if the funds had been correctly categorized, the audit says.

Gallion re-election announcement
State Auditor Josh Gallion announces his intention to run for reelection in 2020 on Thursday, Oct. 10, at the North Dakota Republican Party headquarters in Bismarck. Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service

BISMARCK — The North Dakota State Library broke the law by miscategorizing certain expenses over the last two years, according to an audit released Monday, Nov. 4.

The library categorized nearly $80,000 in operating expenses as grant expenses to avoid spending more than the state's appropriation, state Auditor Josh Gallion said in the audit. It is illegal for state agencies to spend money otherwise designated for another purpose.

However, assistant librarian and business administrator Cindy Clairmont-Schmidt said the library did not overspend its total state appropriation despite the miscategorizations.

The audit also found that the library incorrectly distributed grant funds to three public libraries.

"The State Library has an opportunity to improve how they manage public dollars," Gallion said in a news release. "I encourage the Library to address the issues we identified and make the necessary corrections to ensure compliance with the law."

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The library said in the audit it agreed with Gallion's findings and will be more careful to comply with appropriation laws. The library is located in Bismarck next to the Capitol.

Jeremy Turley is a Bismarck-based reporter for Forum News Service, which provides news coverage to publications owned by Forum Communications Company.
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