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State Audit Finds NIU Made Improper Travel Reimbursements


A recently released audit from the Illinois Office of the Auditor General found in a testing of travel expenditures, $31,945 of the $46,501 tested were reimbursements to an employee for travel between the employee’s home and the official headquarters listed on filed forms. The audit says "travel expenses between an employee’s official headquarters and home are not reimbursable."

The audit recommended the university "recoup unreimbursable travel expenses from the employee." 

According to the audit, university officials stated that they will review the circumstances surrounding the employee and evaluate the necessity of recouping any unreimbursable travel expenses that have been paid to the employee.

NIU Spokesman Paul Palian says the university is aware of the findings.

"All audit findings are being addressed if they haven't been addressed already. For those that haven't been rectified, they'll be resolved in accordance with state law, policy, and procedures."

In another finding, the audit also suggested improvements for the way the university handles contract approvals.

UPDATE, 4/1/15: NIU Vice President for Administration and Finance Alan Phillips says the university is working with the Auditor General’s office and the Illinois Travel Advisory Board to make sure the issues are corrected and won’t arise again. Phillips says he is also forming a task force to review and reform internal procurement and contract processes. 

Jenna Dooley has spent her professional career in public radio. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois - Springfield. She returned to Northern Public Radio in DeKalb after several years hosting Morning Edition at WUIS-FM in Springfield. She is a former "Newsfinder of the Year" from the Illinois Associated Press and recipient of NIU's Donald R. Grubb Journalism Alumni Award. She is an active member of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and an adjunct instructor at NIU.