Dec 23, 2013 5:19 PM by Ian Auzenne
A legislative audit released today highlights a number of deficiencies in internal controls at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
According to the audit, UL's New Iberia Research Center lacked controls to prevent or detect the misappropriation of nearly $26,000 in funds. The audits states that three employees at the NIRC stole more than $10,000 by selling the scrap metal, batteries, and other lab materials to a local scrap yard and collecting the money. The audit also finds that NIRC management failed to notify police or the center's security director for two weeks after an assigned cell phone went missing. The audit notes that during those two weeks, more than $16,000 in fraudulent charges were placed on the phone.
The audit also finds that the university did not report thefts of its property in a timely manner to the legislative auditor or to the district attorney's office. The items, which cost a total of $12,062, were stolen between April 2012 and December 2012. However, the items were not reported stolen until May 30, 2013.
The audit continued by saying the university failed to deposit nearly $2 million in revenues in a timely manner. The audit report says that although university policy requires funds to be deposited within 24 hours of receipt, some funds were not deposited for 18 to 42 days after they were received. This, according to the audit, increases the risk of money misappropriation.
The audit also said that the university failed to report changes in enrollment status for students receiving Federal Directo Student Loan Funds to the National Student Loan Data System as required by federal regulations. The report states that failing to report these changes delayed or prevented the federal agency from recovering loan funds.
University officials say in their response to the findings that they have already begun implementing a series of corrective actions to prevent situations like these from happening again.