In a report released today, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor found LSU did not have written policies for the use of administrative allowances, which are given as additional salary to employees for extra duties outside the scope of their normal job duties.
As of Jan. 1, 2019, administrative allowances totalled $4.9 million, according to the report. Additionally, the application of administrative allowances across departments and campuses was inconsistent.
Without a formal policy, the auditor warns that allowances could be given without appropriate approvals or for duties that wouldn’t qualify.
LSU’s Daniel Layzell, chief financial officer and executive vice president for finance and administration, agrees with the findings, according to a letter attached to the report, saying that human resource management for the school has been working to define administrative allowance plans and implement validation procedures in the payroll system.
The auditor also cited LSU for the second year in a row for failing to ensure compliance with special tests and provision requirements for federal awards. LSU AgCenter was cited for a third consecutive year for the same noncompliance.
Additionally, LSU and its related campuses—which includes LSU, the AgCenter and Pennington Biomedical Research Center—did not ensure compliance with federal procurement standards for fiscal year 2019.
Layzell concurred with those findings, but added that the noncompliance of controls for special tests and provisions was because the school is halfway through a two-year corrective plan, expected to be fully implemented by June 30. He also says LSU is reviewing its policy to ensure compliance for federal procurement standards and that changes will be in effect no later than October 1, 2021.
Looking at the university’s financial trends, the audit notes that expenses have increased nearly 15% since 2015, while state appropriations have remained fairly consistent, increasing 3.84%. For the same period, tuition and fees have increased some 23%, mainly because of increases in tuition OK’d by the GRAD Act and increases in enrollment, which has grown nearly 10% since 2015.
Prior-year findings related to federal noncompliance at the AgCenter, Pennington and the University Laboratory School were resolved.