State Auditor releases report on Department of Education

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — After a report from the state auditor claims that the Mississippi Department of Education awarded contracts improperly MDE is responding.

On Thursday, the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor released a compliance audit report for the fiscal year 2015. OSA said there were misspent federal grant dollars in fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2016.

“If we discover one red cent that has been misspent and diverted from our children and teachers, we will not hesitate to take full legal action against those involved,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering.”

MDE said they didn’t do anything improper to their knowledge.

Dr. Felicia Gavin, Mississippi Department of Education chief operations officer, said MDE also discovered through their own investigation that some employees were colluding to improperly use federal grant money.

They said they turned those finding over to the auditor. MDE said three employees were terminated because of that.

“We welcome the Office of the State Auditor’s inquiry into contracts at the MDE. We will cooperate fully with any requests for information, just as we did over a year ago,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.

The OSA report on the MDE Compliance Audit for FY15 can be found here.

The OSA report on the MDE Forensic Audit can be found here.

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