Audit finds management problems at UMass-Boston

Salary checks to an employee who had left the school nine months earlier, undue overtime payments for information technology workers, and missing computers are among the problems state Auditor Joseph DeNucci identified at the University of Massachusetts at Boston in a report released Monday.

DeNucci’s office said the school “is at risk of loss, theft and misuse of public funds due to serious weaknesses in its payroll and inventory procedures.”

One worker in the Graduate College of Education left the school and continued to receive $34,273 in salary, an error campus officials chalked up to “circumstances, inadequate internal controls, and human error,” the audit said.

The school erred further by not reporting the problems to DeNucci’s office as required under state law, DeNucci’s office said.

The school recovered $26,721 the employee received after taxes and other deductions. The auditor’s office said eight computers could not be located during the audit, 15 vehicles had not been removed from inventory despite no longer being on-campus, and that 26 of 81 equipment items tested had been taken off campus but with no property pass filled out to identify who removed them or where they would be.

UMass-Boston officials called the audit a “valuable process” for the campus and its managers.

“The audit process helped to identify needed improvements in some activities, which were prioritized for implementation. In some areas, the audit helped the university to affirm its use of industry best practices or adopt new practices used by other institutions of higher education,” UMass-Boston director of communications DeWayne Lehman said in a statement.