Audit reveals unresolved issues
with UNF’s MOCA funding

Kalee Ball

UNF auditing for 2015 continues to show issues after UNF gave money to MOCA in past years.
Photo courtesy Facebook

Two years ago, a state audit found that UNF made unauthorized payments to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville and the most recent audit found that these issues have yet to be resolved.

Between 2009 and 2011, $500,000 was loaned to MOCA by UNF for operational costs.

Between 2011 and 2014, $481,049 in cash was paid to the museum to cover salaries and benefits for certain employees.

State audits conducted by the Auditor General David Martin in 2013 and 2014 found that UNF was not authorized to make these payments and recommended repayment.

According to Shari Shuman, UNF vice president of Administration and Finance, UNF is not authorized to loan money or make cash payments to direct-support organizations (DSOs).

In the 2015 audit, Section 1004.28(2) of the Florida Statutes is referenced, “there is no specific authority for the University to pay the salaries and benefits of employees working for a direct-support organization.”

In 2014, UNF set up a repayment plan with MOCA. The museum paid an initial $25,000 and will pay $50,000 each year thereafter. MOCA has paid $75,000 as of this year.

However, the repayment plan was set up in a MOCA Finance and Audit Committee meeting on January 24, 2014. It was not submitted to UNF’s Board for approval.

The 2015 audit recommends that, “the University should submit to the Board, for review and approval, the repayment schedule for the line of credit owed by MOCA. In determining its actions to resolve this audit finding, the University should also seek guidance from the Florida Board of Governors regarding its authority to make loans or cash payments to its direct-support organization and, if appropriate based on such guidance, should also seek to recover the $481,049 in questioned cash transfers to MOCA.”

According to the Audit Manager Jim Stultz, the office will send a letter this summer about the unresolved issues to a special legislative committee. It is possible for the committee to recommend withholding state funding from UNF if the problem is not resolved.

Spinnaker will update with more information as it becomes available.

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