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UVI Responds to Federal Audit Report

Sept. 28, 2004 – The University of the Virgin Islands announced Tuesday it is considering a federal audit report "a tool to assist the university's financial reporting processes in achieving transparency."
Vincent Samuel, UVI's vice president for Administration and Finance, said the report conducted by the Inspector General's Office of the U.S. Department of the Interior "made recommendations but did not characterize as inappropriate any UVI credit card charges." (See "Officials Living Large off Government Credit Cards").
An audit of eight autonomous agencies conducted on fiscal years 1998 to 2003 by the Inspector General's office found that only eight UVI officials held cards, which were used for travel-related expenses. That did include $5,300 in upgrades and airline club membership charged by former UVI President Orville Kean and an unnamed vice president. The audit said it was not customary for federal government agencies to cover the cost of airline upgrades.
Samuel said Tuesday the audit recommended that UVI revise its credit card policy to more clearly define allowable charges for airline ticket upgrades and airline club memberships. The purchase of airline club memberships allows airline ticket upgrades to take place at a lower cost to the institution. It is standard practice for university presidents to travel first class, and airline clubs serve as a working environment for presidents while they are on the road, he said.
"The University of the Virgin Islands always works at being in compliance," Samuel said. "Higher education is an area that needs to be in compliance."
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