Audit: NC licensing boards need more oversight

A new audit says many state licensing boards don't keep up with reporting and training requirements for their members.

Posted Updated
Mark Binker
RALEIGH, N.C. — Boards that oversee the licenses of service providers ranging from auctioneers to locksmiths to pastoral counselors aren't keeping up with reporting and training requirements, according to a review by the State Auditor released Thursday.

Of the 57 licensing boards that report to state agencies, 22 failed to comply with reporting deadlines laid out by state law, and six did not keep up with board member ethics, public records and open meetings training requirements. 

Occupational boards generally license professionals who provider services to the public. Among the boards the audit cited for failing to comply with reporting requirements were those overseeing geologists, interpreters and translators, licensed professional counselors and massage therapists. 

Along with the reporting problems, auditors found that the agencies tasked by law with overseeing the boards don't always know about their responsibilities. 

"When asked how state-level entities compile their Board listings, one entity responded that it initially received its listing from another state agency but it now receives updates by 'word of mouth' from Board administrators and chairmen," the audit reported.  

The audit report also found that state agencies like the Office of State Management and Budget, Office of Attorney General and Office of Secretary of State should better track the operational and financial practices of the boards under their supervision. Auditors also recommended the General Assembly clarify the roles that state agencies are supposed to play, as several responses to the report indicated the rules were unclear.

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