The schools publicly reported inaccurate crime statistics and never told parents and students about programs for combating violence against women, as required, the audit found.
The audit report published by the California State Auditors who audited a selection of California’s institutions shares the results of their examination of six colleges’ Annual Security Report (ASR) and disclosures of campus security policies required under the Clery Act.
Of these six colleges, four reported criminal offences, while the two other two reported no criminal offences in their Annual Security Report.
The audit found that the four that reported criminal offenses did not do so accurately; and the one which reported no offences failed to report two serious crimes. In addition, five of them did not have complete or updated crime logs.
And, only one college had fully disclosed all the information that the Clery Act and federal regulations require. Colleges are required to have specific security policy in place, and in most instances, disclose them in their Annual Security Report. However, five colleges failed to develop or disclosed all required policies.
As per San Francisco Chronicles, the audit found disclosure errors in 20 percent of examined crimes.
Highlights from the State Audit Report
- Four colleges reported a significant number of inaccurate crime statistics.
- Of the two that reported no crimes, one failed to report two serious Clery Act crimes, and thus was unable to issue a timely warning to its students and employees.
- Five colleges failed to fully disclose information as required by the regulations. They attributed the lack of compliance to insufficient Clery Act expertise, insufficient training, or oversight.
- A number of missing disclosures were related to policies related to the VAWA.
- The daily crime logs of five colleges were incomplete and not updated.
Why is Clery Act important?
Every college that receives federal student aid under Title IV has to commit itself to providing students with safe environment to learn, and keeping students, parents, and employees informed about campus security.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, commonly referred to as the Clery Act requires such colleges to disclose specified campus crime statistics and campus security policies to help inform students, their families and the employees.
Colleges must report the statistics related to crimes such as criminal homicides, sex offences, robberies, and aggravated assaults; and they must disclose or have in place policies that address how they would respond to and prevent crimes. For crimes that represent continuous threat to campus, they must issue timely warnings and notifications to the students and employees.
Campus safety is a major concern of students and their families when they are choosing an institution. The Clery Act works towards that end, by requiring the colleges to prepare, publish and distribute annual security reports that disclose Clery Act crime statistics and their campus security policies. They must distribute their Annual Security Report (ASR) by October 1 to all enrolled students and current employees, and notify all prospective students and employees of its availability.