State auditors have identified numerous "excessive" spending policies at the UConn Health Center in Farmington, according to a post on ctmirror.org.
Arguably the most damning finding detailed by the report was the failure of the health center to document "millions of dollars in purchases" that could have been required to be put out to competitive bid, but the laundry list also included:
- Paying $73,000 to a worker who was on sabbatical and gave notice early on the sabbatical
- Providing long-term disability benefits for managers who were already covered for long-term disability under the State Employees Retirement System
- Paying excessive amounts to employees upon their separation (for such things as comp time)
- Excessive reimbursement of tuition
- Spending almost $2 million in legal fees over two years for legal services related to patents
Auditors questioned the aforementioned $1.9 million in large purchases because they could find no evidence that those expenditures had been put out to bid. They also questioned whether the health center had bid out the purchase of an $879,000 microscope and a $7.5 million multi-year contract.
In a written statement, UConn Health Center officials said they were working with the auditors to address the issues and tighten spending policies, but also maintained they didn't agree with all the findings.
"The UConn Health Center is a complex and diverse institution with a workforce of approximately 5,000 employees," the statement read in part. "We constantly monitor our operations, and perform internal audits to verify procedures and processes are sound. We believe these limited findings reflect important but isolated opportunities for improvement."