NIU loses over $1.6 million in equipment

By Lindsey Salvatelli

DeKALB — NIU has been found non-compliant of several state and federal regulations.

The Illinois Auditor General, an office that reviews public bodies that receive government funding, found NIU had inadequate control over property and equipment.

It was reported that 1,288 items worth just over $1.6 million could not be located by university officials, according to the March 28 Illinois Auditor General report.

The findings occurred during the 2017 fiscal year, which ended June 30.

Items missing since the 2016 inventory cycle include approximately 520 computers, servers, CPUs and other electronic storage devices.

“The volume of ‘unlocated’ equipment demonstrates a lack of accountability,” according to the report.

The university accepted the auditor’s recommendation of strengthening its internal controls regarding university property and has already developed a “Missing Internal Investigation form” to locate missing property, according to the auditor’s report.

In addition to the loss of property, the university was found to be lacking a plan to recover data should the computer network fail.

Should the system fail, the human resource system, as well as student and financial information, could be lost, according to the report.

University officials have not updated their Disaster Recovery Plan since 2013, and data recovery testing hasn’t been performed since that time.

“Failure to adequately develop, continually update and test a disaster recovery plan leaves the university exposed to the possibility of major disruptions of services,” according to the auditors report.