Kerkman co-chaired Audit Committee proposes audit of UW payroll and benefits processing

The Assembly Joint Audit Committee, of which state Rep. Samantha Kerkman (R-Randall) is  co-chair, is calling for an independent audit of the University of Wisconsin payroll and benefit processing system.

From a press release from the committee:

Samantha Kerkman

Samantha Kerkman

Today, Senator Robert Cowles (R-Allouez) and Representative Samantha Kerkman (R-Randall) announced that they have directed the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) to prepare a memo outlining the parameters for a proposed independent audit by LAB of University of Wisconsin (UW) payroll and benefit processing, including the new Human Resource System (HRS). “I see the concerns regarding the HRS as major problems within the UW System. The need for a full independent audit by LAB to address the reoccurring theme of financial mismanagement by the university system is absolutely necessary,” Senator Cowles stated. During its audit of the State’s financial statements, LAB identified a material weakness related to security over HRS, which increases the risk that inadvertent, erroneous, or unauthorized changes could be made to HRS. LAB also reported that, due to a lack of oversight and monitoring of fringe benefit processes after implementation of HRS, UW System made errors when calculating Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) contributions due to the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) that resulted in overpayments of $17.5 million. In addition, LAB identified that an estimated $15.4 million in overpayments were made by UW System for health insurance premiums, including $8.0 million paid for 924 terminated employees from May 2011 through September 2012. Altogether, overpayments totaled nearly $33 million. “The UW System should be held accountable for problems in its management of its human resource system,” said Representative Kerkman. “In 2006, careful oversight by the Audit Committee led LAB to conduct an audit of the state’s IT systems. Report 07-5 showed millions were spent by UW on a HR computer system that was never used. To protect the taxpayers’ dollars going forward, it is imperative that the Committee direct LAB to determine whether any additional problems exist in the new system.” The co-chairs have scheduled a public hearing before the Joint Legislative Audit Committee on Tuesday, January 22 in Room 411 South of the State Capitol. At this hearing, the Committee will hear testimony on these concerns and discuss the parameters for the proposed audit. For more information about the findings from LAB’s audit of the State of Wisconsin’s financial statements, please visit LAB’s website at or call 608-266-2818.


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