Saturday, February 13, 2010

More Scandals Uncovered at UC, Yee Requests State Audit

If you are interested in supporting this audit, please write an email to Senator Yee’s office at: Nicolina.Hernandez@sen.ca.gov
to understand the process for audit request, please see :
http://www.assembly.ca.gov/committee/c208/hearing_documents/formulate_submit_Audit_request.htm
SACRAMENTO – Two investigative journalism websites – Spot.us and Californiawatch.org – have uncovered further scandal within the University of California. Spot.us reports that several UC Regents have direct financial ties to a number of university investments. Californiawatch.org reports that UCLA recently hired a consulting firm that is currently under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for numerous accounting errors.

The scandals are just the latest in a long series of improprieties and poor decision-making by university executives, which has prompted Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) to make an official audit request to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC). JLAC will consider and vote on Yee’s state audit request at a hearing on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, not even one month can pass without another scandal plaguing our university,” said Yee, who is an alumnus of UC. “A comprehensive state audit will help further uncover the extent of the waste, fraud, and abuse within the UC, and finally hold university executives accountable.”

Yee has long fought for greater accountability and transparency at the UC. In 2007, Yee passed SB 190 to end the Regents’ practice of making executive compensation decisions behind closed doors without public comment or disclosure. Also in 2007, Yee passed legislation to require greater public oversight of the UC Retirement Plan. However, the Regents have ignored the resolution and refuse to give workers and retirees a voice on their pensions.

In 2006, Yee passed a bill to provide greater speech and journalism protections for UC students, and in 2008, he passed another bill to extend such protections to employees. However, the Regents did not officially adopt the speech protection policies until last year. In 2009, the Legislature overwhelmingly approved three bills authored by Yee to freeze executive pay during bad budget years, subject campus auxiliary organizations to the California Public Records Act, and provide legal protections to employees who report waste, fraud, and abuse. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) vetoed all three bills.

The latest in an ongoing investigation by Spot.us highlights how some UC Regents may be making millions of dollars from university investments. Their latest report can be found here: http://blog.spot.us/2010/02/11/uc-regents-schwarzenegger-and-wachter-are-they-making-a-profit-from-university-investments/.

The Californiawatch.com story regarding UCLA’s consulting firm that has been plagued by accounting scandals can be found here: http://www.californiawatch.org/watchblog/ucla-consultant-involved-accounting-scandal.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you liked the investigation from Spot.Us.

    http://blog.spot.us/2010/02/11/uc-regents-schwarzenegger-and-wachter-are-they-making-a-profit-from-university-investments/

    Note: It's actually a mid-term report. We are still uncovering stuff and could use some public support: http://bit.ly/ucregents

    Hope all is well.

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