Research administrators work in a world of constant and continuous audits by various Federal OIGs. These are in addition to the ongoing annual "A-133" audits designed to attest to our having systems and procedures in place to provide proper stewardship over Federal funds under our purview. The OIG audits have been extremely aggressive and are characterized by initial allegations of wrongdoing, high cost disallowances, inflammatory language and, often found to be inaccurate during audit resolution. In addition to the considerable administrative time required to work with the auditors, the release of the audit report launches lengthy and intensive negotiations and resolution, which nearly always result in very small financial settlements, but still damage the credibility of the institutions. Dealing with excessive audit activity on our campuses is a considerable source of administrative burden that falls on the administrators. With the current emphasis on accountability and transparency, it is extremely difficult for the higher education community to get anyone in the Administration or Congress to recognize that the results of "not for cause audits" at our institutions, while resulting in some disallowances, do not support their costs and should be focused, instead, on situations where genuine fraud, waste, and abuse have occurred or the risk of such has been demonstrated.
Idea No. 39