BISMARCK — A report released by North Dakota Auditor Josh Gallion found that the state Highway Patrol has not properly monitored key card access to the state Capitol in Bismarck.

The audit, which covered a two-year period ending June 30, 2020, revealed that 13 previously terminated state employees and 28 contractors who had finished their work in the building still had active card access.

Gallion noted in a news release that key cards given to contractors are supposed to expire within one year, but some contractors had been granted up to 78 years of access. Visitors without key card access to the Capitol must pass through a security checkpoint that includes a metal detector.

“The most important resource on the Capitol grounds are the people,” Gallion said. “All employees, visitors, and contractors play a role in making sure the building is properly secured. By taking steps to improve procedures for key card access, the Highway Patrol can better serve the people who come to the State Capitol building.”

The Highway Patrol said it agreed with the audit's findings and will communicate with agencies to make sure they understand to deactivate key cards for terminated employees.