WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
FINANCIAL AUDIT AND COMPLIANCE EXAMINATION
(In accordance with the Single Audit Act and OMB Circular A-133)
For the Year Ended June 30, 2009
Summary of Findings:
Total this audit 5
Total last audit 2
Repeated from last audit 1
Release Date: March 16, 2010
State of Illinois Office of the Auditor General
WILLIAM G. HOLLAND, AUDITOR GENERAL
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• The University did not accurately report student data to national databases as required by the Federal Pell Grant and Loan Programs.
• The University did not have adequate grant reporting procedures for one of the grants under the Adult Education State Grant Program.
• The University did not comply with the Board of Higher Education Act requirements for submission of capital improvement plans.
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
INACCURATE REPORTING OF STUDENT DATA
The University did not accurately report student data to national databases as required by federal Pell grant and loan programs. The auditors noted the following:
• Student withdrawal dates reported for 20 of 60 (33%) students tested differed from official records.
• For 3 of 35 (9%) student records reviewed, the University erroneously reported that information used to calculate an applicant’s expected family contribution was verified, when it had not been.
• During spring 2009, 32 of 32 (100%) Pell disbursement dates reported to the federal government differed from University records.
University management stated these exceptions were due to clerical errors. (Finding 09-1, pages 16-18 in the Compliance Examination Report)
We recommended the University ensure the Student Financial Aid system provides accurate information as the source for system reports. Further, the Financial Aid Office should provide adequate oversight by reviewing the reports before submission.
University officials agreed with the finding and stated corrective action has been or will be implemented for each of the exceptions noted.
INADEQUATE GRANT REPORTING PROCEDURES
The University did not have adequate reporting procedures for one of the grants under the Adult Education State Grant Program passed through from the Illinois Community College Program.
We noted the following during our testing:
• Total expenditures in a narrative report to the grantor were understated by $37,200. The University could not support or account for the difference.
• The University did not record receivables totaling $42,027 for program income generated from the grant.
University management stated the support used for report preparation was not maintained, and grant personnel were not aware of the University’s accrual process for receivables. (Finding 09-2, pages 19-20 in the Compliance Examination Report)
We recommended the University develop procedures to ensure that grant program reports are accurately prepared, adequately supported, and staff are properly trained regarding accrual procedures.
University officials agreed with our finding and stated they will implement procedures to ensure narrative reports are accurately prepared.
NEED TO COMPLY WITH BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION ACT
The University did not comply with the requirements of the Board of Higher Education Act regarding the submission of capital improvement plans.
We noted 2 of 3 (67%) non-instructional capital improvement projects were not approved prior to making final commitments.
The University did not seek the approval of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) for a $307,000 Bookstore remodeling project. In addition, the net excess costs of approximately $2.1 million of capital improvements on a Student Recreation Center were not submitted for IBHE approval. The University did, however, obtain approval for $4.0 million, but the total cost of the project was approximately $6.1 at June 30, 2009.
The Board of Higher Education Act (110 ILCS 205/8) requires State universities submit capital improvement budget proposals and plans for non-instructional facilities to IBHE for approval before final commitments are made.
University management deemed the Bookstore remodeling project an ordinary repair not requiring IBHE approval, and overlooked submission of Student Recreation Center additional costs to IBHE. (Finding 09-4, pages 22-23 in the Compliance Examination Report)
We recommended the University design monitoring procedures to ensure that all plans of non-instructional capital improvements are submitted to IBHE for approval prior to construction. Further, any significant subsequent revisions to the original plan should be submitted for approval.
University officials agreed with the finding and stated that the existing notification process will be enhanced to ensure that remodeling projects and revisions of previously approved projects will be submitted to IBHE for approval.
The remaining findings are reportedly being given attention by the University. We will review the University’s progress toward the implementation of our recommendations in our audit.
Our auditors stated the financial statements of Western Illinois University as of June 30, 2009, and for the year then ended, are fairly presented in all material respects.
WILLIAM G. HOLLAND, Auditor General
SPECIAL ASSISTANT AUDITORS
E.C. Ortiz & Co., LLP were our special assistant auditors.