Audits reveal federal government not getting refunds

Shaky procedures led the state education agency and a university to improperly keep funds paid by the federal government, stated two reports by the Louisiana legislative auditor released Monday

For a second consecutive year, the state Department of Education did not properly allocate federal payroll expenditures to the correct federal programs. As a result, the department may have to return $96,183 to the federal government.

State Education Superintendent John White agreed in a written response, but placed the blame on a department restructuring last summer.

One employee switched positions but didn’t switch the part of the grant responsible for his pay. Two other employees were misclassified in the payroll system for part but not all of their salaries.

Procedures are being changed and supervisors are being trained, White wrote. The changes should be completed by April 1.

In a second audit, the legislative auditor found that Grambling University didn’t return $14,992 of federal funds within the timeframes necessary.

The problem was in the procedures. The university didn’t know the exact date eight of its students withdrew and the money for those students was not returned in the time alloted, the audit stated.

Grambling President Frank Pogue wrote Purpera saying university officials put in place a uniform process that could more quickly verify the last date of attendance.