Campus, News

CSU audit finds money discrepancies in DSS program

A California State University internal special investigations audit revealed employees at Disabled Student Services who worked for the Workability IV program, had inaccurately given figures to DSS, including payroll hours and the number of students that they served for the program. 

WAIV is an on-campus program that helps students with disabilities find jobs and financial opportunities. 

Jeff Cook, associate vice president of strategic communications, said via email that concerns about time reporting in the program reached the Office of the President, which prompted it to request an audit. 

According to the document, infractions included recording students advised who were not in the WAIV program as WAIV students and erroneously filling out hours worked. 

Although the auditing committee said it did not find any purposeful infractions, it did find that there was a mishandling of payroll for employees. 

The report, released Jan. 16, 2020, stated the program had a “lack of standardized record keeping and adequate documentation” of what students they were serving and how many hours they had worked. 

“Although the errors we found did not significantly change the values for the certified time match and did not impact money paid to the campus by [The Department of Rehabilitation], the number and nature of the errors was concerning,” the document noted.

There was also the issue of incorrect payroll information being used, which cost some employers portions of their salary and benefits. There was a net decrease of $344 in payroll benefits to staff working in the program. 

The report noted that staff who prepared payroll documents managed to not take note of major discrepancies in payroll, even though one employee in the program lost more than $3,000 in monthly payroll while another employee received more than an $8,000 increase in one month. 

“A number of recommendations were made by … the audit report,” Cook said. “The university concurred with those recommendations … and is in the process of implementing them, including offering additional training.” 

The campus response included that staff in the program receive training on how to time match and log personal activity reports and a new standardization in tracking students being advised in WAIV, among other changes.

Cook did not specify as to whether or not this is an issue that has risen in other departments. 

“With the implementation of these recommendations, we have confidence in the process of reporting hours in this and other programs,” Cook said.

One Comment

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    Carmen Varela

    Hannah, thank you for publishing this story,

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