Keep sight of public dollars

June 14, 2013 

Lose track of your computer lately? We didn’t think so. Most people don’t. They can either say exactly where their computer is, or explain how and when it was lost or stolen.

Then there’s Southern Illinois University, which in 2012 couldn’t account for 257 computers — 192 from the Carbondale campus and 65 from Edwardsville. Total value: $416,000.

Almost as bad as losing track of all those computers is one spokesman’s no-big-deal attitude about it.

SIUE spokesman Doug McIlhagga said the 65 computers unaccounted for at SIUE are just 1 percent of the total and that computers get misplaced all the time. They may or may not turn up later. “This is not out of the ordinary and not for any lack of security,” he said.

With that kind of attitude, it’s amazing that more computers aren’t missing.

McIlhagga many not think it’s a big deal, but the state auditor general does. A recommendation in a performance audit wants better inventory controls put in place so the university can keep track of its computers.

Good. Money isn’t worth as much as it used to be, but $416,000 is still a lot to the taxpayers paying the bills.

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