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Advocate file photo -- Students work on a projec at BRCC's Port Allen campus.

Officials of Baton Rouge Community College failed to return $520,000 in federal funds on time, according to a state audit released Friday.

The school also improperly used student technology fees to pay for salaries and benefits for five employees, Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera said.

In addition, the school has nearly $2 million in property that cannot be located, mostly computers, according to the report.

BRCC officials, in written responses, generally agreed with Purpera's criticism.

The review covered the financial year that ended on June 30, 2017.

Federal rules require the money under review to be returned in 45 days.

In one case, the audit said, school officials were 254 days late returning part of $262,945 in federal dollars.

In another case they returned the money 189 days after the 45-day deadline.

The report said school officials were unaware of the time requirements.

In its response, the school said it will provide annual training to financial staff members to ensure compliance with federal rules.

Larissa Littleton-Steib, chancellor of the school,  said delays returning the money had no fiscal impact on students or the school.

In another area, Purpera's audit said the school incorrectly used $174,597 and $86,136 respectively to pay salaries and benefits for five employees using student technology fees.

Those payments are not included in the student technology budget.

Corrective action is underway and will be in place by Jan. 31, 2018, Littleton-Steib wrote.

The audit also said the school failed to locate $1.9 million in movable property and $58,237 for items still listed as unlocated after being cited in three previous reports.

"Failure to establish sufficient controls over property increases the risk of loss arising from theft or unauthorized use, noncompliance with state laws and regulations and possible errors and misstatements in financial reporting," the audit says.

It said the missing property is especially troubling  because sensitive information could be recovered from computers.

In its response, school officials blamed part of the problem for missing property on high staff turnover.

A total of $748,126 in assets has since been found, they said.

BRCC is part of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.

It had about 8,000 students when the audit was done.

State aid for the school has dropped by seven percent in the past five years, the report says.

Tuition and fee revenue dropped eight percent during the same period due to enrollment drops.

Follow Will Sentell on Twitter, @WillSentell.