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(a) The State Allocation Board shall conduct random audits of the information certified by self-certifying districts pursuant to this chapter, except as to any determinations that are made under subdivision (d) of Section 17041.1 or that are subject to audit by the State Department of Education pursuant to Section 17024, using generally accepted auditing principles, at any time to ensure compliance with the law.

(b) If any information submitted by a self-certifying district in its certification of funding eligibility for any project is found by the board to contain any material inaccuracy, any building area constructed as a result, in excess of the building area to which the district was entitled for purposes of that project, shall be included in the calculation of the area of adequate school construction for the purposes of all subsequent project applications by the district under this chapter. In addition, the board shall impose both of the following penalties:

(1) Pursuant to a repayment schedule approved by the board, the district shall repay to the board of no more than five years, for deposit in the State School Building Lease-Purchase Fund, an amount equal to the amount of project funding allocated under this chapter to construct that excess building area, together with interest at the rate paid on moneys in the Pooled Money Investment Account or at the highest rate of interest for the most recent issue of state general obligation bonds as established pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 16720) of Part 3 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code, whichever is greater. The amount of any repayment owing under this paragraph for any fiscal year, which is not repaid otherwise by the district, shall be withheld by the board from any project funding that otherwise would be allocated to that district under this chapter in that fiscal year. As to any repayment obligation remaining for that fiscal year, the board shall notify the Superintendent of Public Instruction, who shall withhold the amount of that remaining obligation from the apportionments to be made to the district from the State School Fund in that fiscal year.

(2) The information that otherwise may be certified under this chapter by a self-certifying district shall be made by the board under any subsequent applications for project funding, rather than by the applicant district, for a period of up to five years following the date of the finding of a material inaccuracy, or until the district's repayment of the entire amount owing under paragraph (1), whichever occurs later.

(c) Any school district against which the board imposes the penalties under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (b) may submit for binding determination by an arbitrator the issue of whether the penalties imposed are disproportionate to the inaccuracy certified by the district. Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, the procedure governing the arbitration shall be as set forth in Title 9 (commencing with Section 1280) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(d) It is the intent of the Legislature that audits as described in this section not interfere with the application and construction process under this chapter unless one or more violations are discovered.

(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 277, Sec. 2. Operative January 1, 1998.)

Reference:

Education Code 17024

Education Code 17041.1

Government Code 16720