State Audit on FAMU Shows 24 Findings

By: Lanetra Bennett
February 22, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Two dozen issues need to be fixed at Florida A&M University.

Florida's Auditor General's Office came to that conclusion in a newly released report.

The Florida Auditor General's Office says FAMU collected $95 million dollars in tuition and fees during the 2011-12 fiscal year..

But, it says the university needs to do a better job with its procedures for classifying students as Florida residents for tuition purposes.

It's one of the 24 findings in the final operational audit.

The report also says the university needs to enhance its policies on electronic funds transfers.

FAMU Interim President Dr. Larry Robinson says administrators have been working on many of the issues since they received the preliminary audit last year.

He says, "We had invited a group here from the U.S. Department of Education to do a review of our financial aid programs that we've put in place. We have a corrective action plan, we have an external consultant. So, we're toughening up some of the requirements."

The operational audit comes at a time when FAMU is already dealing with its one year accreditation probation. It is also working on issues from a report that says the university did not follow proper procedures prior to the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion.

Students say they've seen improvements in those areas as well.

FAMU student Marissa Holloman says, "The efforts are great. We went through so many hazing rallies. I learned a lot about things about hazing. I feel like because FAMU did come out now we're making other colleges better."

The audit also says FAMU needs to improve its identity theft prevention program, enhance controls over consultant payments, and improve controls related to payroll processing.

In addition, it says the severance package for former FAMU president Dr. James Ammons does not comply with state law.

Dr. Robinson says he is optimistic that all issues will be resolved.

The full 51-page report can be found at http://www.myflorida.com/audgen/pages/pdf_files/2013-103.pdf.

The following information is from James R. Stultz, CPA, Audit Manager for Florida Colleges & Universities:

While the number of findings is often mentioned as an interesting factor by some readers, the number of findings does not in and of itself indicate whether the audit report is more or less critical than another audit report. The nature of the individual findings is much more important than the number of findings.

The audit findings in our operational audit report point out areas of weakness in the University’s internal controls. Internal controls are the checks and balances in the system that are designed to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse, and in management’s administering assigned responsibilities in accordance with applicable laws, rules, regulations, contracts, grant agreements, and other guidelines. The findings included in our report were a result of the audit worked performed. Each finding includes a recommendation to address the finding.

There is no statutory deadline for taking corrective action; however, in the University’s response to the findings, the University has indicated for each finding a date by which it expects to have completed taking corrective action.

It is management’s responsibility to take corrective actions. In our next operational audit of the University, we will determine whether the University took corrective actions to address the findings in this audit report. Our next operational audit report will indicated which findings from this report have not been corrected.

The Auditor General performs operational audits of all Florida colleges and universities as required by Section 11.45 (2)(f), Florida Statutes. Our operational audit reports of other universities can be viewed on our web site at http://www.myflorida.com/audgen/pages/subjects/university.htm.


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