After audit, new FAMU president says problems being corrected

TALLAHASSEE Fla.

Already on probation for financial irregularities, Florida A&M University has been hit with another state audit critical of the way the school does its business.

An audit released Friday covered a period between July 2005 and June 2006, when Castell Bryant was serving as interim president. It cited problems in 13 areas three more than the audit done for the 2004-2005 fiscal year.

Among other things, auditors couldn’t verify contracts and grants totaling $27.4 million and another $5.7 million in student fees.

“We were unable to satisfy ourselves as to certain amounts reported on the financial statements,” the auditors stated in the report.

James Ammons, who took over as FAMU’s president on July 2, said some of the findings were expected and that corrective action had already begun.

“While this audit is in no way a reflection of our current work in these areas, it provides a glimpse of what the previous administration faced and how we must continue to steer clear of those pitfalls,” Ammons said Friday.

FAMU, which has 30 days to reply to Auditor General William Monroe’s report, was put on probation in June by the Atlanta-based Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for not being in compliance with 10 of its accrediting regulations, most of them financial.

The association will make a campus visit in September to check on the school’s progress and then review the sanctions in December. Students would be ineligible for federal financial aid if the school were dropped from association’s membership and lost its accreditation.

In the new state audit, it was recommended FAMU improve its efforts to ensure the proper recording of transactions, that bank account reconciliations are timely and properly prepared, that contract and grant transactions are properly recorded, and that no one employee has control of every aspect of a transaction.

Some of the same issues were among 35 findings noted earlier this year in the school’s 2005-2006 operational audit.

Information from: Tallahassee Democrat, http://www.tdo.com

– Associated Press



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