FAMU's response to last month's preliminary but scathing state audit is almost finished. The Gradebook has obtained a draft response, which was being reviewed by the trustees' audit committee this morning and is expected to be delivered to Auditor General Bill Monroe tomorrow. The preliminary audit listed 35 problems, drew ire from lawmakers and fueled criticism of both interim FAMU President Castell Bryant and her biggest supporter, Trustees Chairwoman Challis Lowe.
In its draft response, FAMU concurs with 24 of the 35 findings, but also offers detailed responses to - and explanations for - many of them. For example, while it's true football ticket-sales receipts were "inadvertently discarded," the draft report says records for the sales in question were still available for review from TicketMaster and through daily deposit records at the cashier office.
To perhaps the biggest eyebrow-raiser in the preliminary audit, FAMU responds: "The Auditor General's preliminary and tentative findings suggest that 'budgeted expenditures recorded to the accounting records included $39,315,635 of expenditures (and related revenues) that were not included in the Board-approved operating budget' when in fact the $39,315,635 relates to budget spending authority was not recorded as budgeted expenditures, for the reasons identified below. The Board-approved operating budget expenditures for the Fiscal Year ended June 30, 2006 totaled $394,643,481 and the University's actual operating expenditures were only $356,337,997 or $38,305,485 below the Board-approved operating budget amount."
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- Ron Matus, state education reporter