A legislative panel has voted unanimously to authorize an audit of the University of Wisconsin's payroll and benefits system after the UW mistakenly overpaid $33 million.
It was during a broad financial audit of the state that auditors discovered the UW System had overpaid more than $15 million in health insurance premiums and more than $17 million in pension contributions. University of Wisconsin President Kevin Reilly told the legislature's Joint Audit Committee Tuesday that he was deeply troubled by the mistakes and that he would make sure the thousands of people who use the system get the message, ”And I will ask them to help me step up at each campus and make sure that everybody — those 2,100 people who have to put information into this system — are fully aware of what you want, what we need for them to do it in an accurate and timely way.“
Reilly said that already $20 million of the $33 million overpayment had been recovered. The UW had also hired outside experts to diagnose what went wrong.
But the vote Tuesday did little to placate many lawmakers, including Green Bay Republican Robert Cowles, who co-chairs the audit committee: ”The university wants all this independence. And from my point of view, I'm not sure that they're ready for the independence.“
Alma Democrat Kathleen Vinehout said she was glad the UW was taking this seriously, but she said the audit was necessary, ”I think that we need the information to be able to share that confidence. Because I don't think we have that confidence right now.“
The unanimous vote by the committee will let the state's nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau dig into the fine details of the UW's Human Resources System. Auditors said they would begin that work Wednesday.