Northern Lakes president blames former CFO for college's financial situation

April 25, 2013

Northern Lakes College president Rick Neidig says the college is cleaning up its finances after its chief financial officer was charged with defrauding 2 charities. Neidig appeared before Alberta's Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday to detail the institution's progress in the wake of a March 2012 auditor general report that found finances were out of control. Neidig said Northern Lakes lost control of its finances under the guidance of former CFO David Pike, who was later charged with fraud and stealing. "In our case it was because we had a CFO who was bent on some fraudulent activity," Neidig said when asked how the college's finances became such a mess. "The atmosphere that was created in the finance office was setting us up for committing fraud in our own organization. Our controls were strong enough that we didn't encounter any of that, but we did encounter confusion." In addition, Neidig said Northern Lakes passed some "tight budgets where we probably cut too deep in our finance office, administratively. In hindsight, it looks pretty clear," Neidig said. "It won't happen again." Edmonton Journal