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Auditor: FAMU still struggling with finances


More than a year after a state auditor found multiple problems with Florida A&M University’s 2004-2005 finances, the school still has problems.

A recent, preliminary audit of the budget year ending in June 2006 found problems with the school’s payroll and other areas, and last week administrators got a stern warning from lawmakers saying they would cut the school’s budget if that’s what it takes to fix the issues.

Looming large among the audit’s 35 findings were payroll and salary documentation problems. The school failed to pay employees on time, give raises, properly perform annual evaluations, and document employees’ leave time and sabbaticals, according to a report in the St. Petersburg Times.

The auditor also concluded that accounting records did not accurately reflect the budget approved by the school’s trustees, and the trustees and president didn’t approve budget amendments.

Employee cell phone use and the accounting for university property were also issues. Records to support $1.8 million in athletic department collections were not retained.

The criticism comes as the school’s interim president, Dr. Castell Bryant, is about to turn over Florida’s only historically Black public university to Dr. James H. Ammons, the former FAMU provost. The change happens this summer.

FAMU has 30 days to respond to the audit and explain what it is doing to correct the problems. Bryant issued a statement Friday that her team will work “quickly and carefully” to respond.

–Associated Press

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