The university requested the audit after noticing discrepancies on time sheets for several employees at the Institute of Neurosciences.
Now the UO is making some changes to the way it monitors employee time sheets.
“One of the changes that we have made to date is having centralized time sheet management and also mandatory training for all of our researchers and other employees on campus to fully understand their responsibility,” said Julie Brown, University of Oregon Spokesperson.
“There were a couple of employees who over time and extended hours were essentially being paid as if they were not being put on furlough,” said Tony Green, Communications Director for the Oregon Secretary of State
The Secretary of State’s Office says those employees, all paid through a federal grant, were making up for required state furlough days by adding overtime to their time sheets.
“It shouldn’t be the case as a policy matter that only the employees who were being paid from the general fund are going to have to make that sacrifice. So whether you’re being paid through federal grants or other sources of funding, the policy was that everybody should share the pain,” Green said.
So the UO is now in the process of paying back the government for the payroll discrepancies.
“I know that the amount of funding that is being returned to a couple of the federal award agencies is approximately $300,000,” Brown said.
It has also fired the research team’s manager who was responsible for the misuse of overtime. The Secretary of State’s Office says the time card issues dated back to 2009. With the recommendations put fourth by the Secretary of State, the university is hoping to avoid isolated cases like this in the future.