FAMU has officially responded to the State Auditor General's Preliminary Operational Audit. Interim President Castell Bryant says the financial state of FAMU is not as grim as it's been portrayed.
"FAMU's financial house is not threatened by some strong wind of corruption, ineptness or a lack of control," said Bryant.
Of the 35 findings for the year ending June 2006 FAMU's Vice President of Fiscal Affairs says most have already been cleared.
Topping the list of concerns: the Audit's report of $39 million that was unaccounted for. FAMU says that money was not reported to the Board of Trustees because it was not part of the operating budget. It included items such as building fees, student club fees and meal plans.
Another item: the Audit's report of $2.7 million in missing inventory. However, FAMU says with inventory depreciating in value it's only about $200,000.
"In my opinion we were going to continue to search for the missing inventory until the cost of the search exceeded the value of the inventory," said CFO and VP of Fiscal Affairs Grace Ali.
FAMU does admit some areas could take more than six months to correct. One of them is its communication expenses. The audit reports $25,000 unaccounted in cell phone and long distance charges.
"We are not yet whole, however we are on the road to greater fiscal accountability and responsibility," said Bryant
With still a few loose ends Bryant is calling for support from the Board of Trustees, the Task Force and lawmakers. FAMU says the final report from the Auditor General's Office is expected by the end of the legislative session.