Saturday, October 30, 2004

UH works on new guidelines
for spending

The move responds to an audit
questioning Dobelle's use of funds

The University of Hawaii and the UH Foundation are working on new spending guidelines for funds that support the UH president and other campus leaders and institutions.

Foundation and university administrators have set up a task force that has met once to review spending and authorization policies, UH spokeswoman Carolyn Tanaka said. The move follows the state auditor's recommendation to create new guidelines.

"The university agrees that we need to set clearer guidelines for our discretionary funds," Tanaka said. "These things need to be resolved."

An audit report conducted as part of former UH President Evan Dobelle's evaluation raised questions over spending and spending guidelines for his $250,000-a-year protocol fund. His spending from the foundation fund was a factor in his ouster this summer.

In a May, state auditor Marion Higa reviewed other UH support funds and found that the foundation authorized "questionable, even abusive, expenditures from donated funds because of vague guidelines, poorly defined account purposes and lenient interpretations of the foundation's expenditure policies."

The auditor recommended that the Board of Regents come up with policies and guidelines for all university fund raising. Higa also recommended that the foundation's policies be "strengthened and enforced." She said purposes and spending limits for all foundation accounts should ensure that donor intent is "faithfully fulfilled."

Foundation chief financial officer Bill King, who initiated the task force, was not available for comment yesterday.

Regents Chairwoman Pat Lee said the findings of the task force will be presented to the board once their work is done. She said the board is pleased that the administration and the foundation will be addressing the concerns raised by the audits.



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