Feds call for FSU to pay back $3 million

Jul 25, 2012

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services wants Florida State University to pay back $3 million.

The federal agency says the university officials didn’t properly oversee the grant money to make sure that its use complied with federal regulations.

A preliminary report issued by the Department says FSU left the compliance issues up to individual colleges, departments and principal investigators.

But the university says it disagrees with that assessment and is working to resolve the differences.

“In November 2011. In a January 2012 written response to the DHHS auditors, the university submitted significant additional information taking issue with many of the preliminarily questioned costs. The university received the final audit report a few days ago, which substantially reduced the questioned costs. Now that the auditors have issued their final report, the next step in the process involves working with the DHHS Division of Audit Resolution to bring this matter to a mutually acceptable resolution," said FSU's Ralph Alvarez, associate vice president for Budget, Planning and Financial Services.

"To that end, DHHS invited the university to submit additional comments and information pertaining to the final report, which it plans to do in the near future. Following the DHHS’s additional detailed examination and discussion with Audit Resolution officials, the university expects additional favorable consideration for the outstanding questioned cost items.”

FSU also wants the federal government to decrease the repayment amount.

In addition to a $3 million repayment from Florida State, the agency recommended the university enhance its oversight of charges to federal awards to ensure compliance with federal regulations.

The agency now awaits further comment from the university before it issues a final report.