Accounting secrets at OSU and UO

At Oregon State there are none.

OSU’s VP for Finance Mark McCambridge has posted all financial information to the web – every single transaction. See https://bfpsystems.oregonstate.edu/webreporting/ (10/7/2009: now apparently restricted to OSU IP addresses.)

Quoting from the Inside Higher Ed news story:

Since the university already maintained a central database storing transaction information, the process of bringing it into public view took just a few months, with a price tag below $10,000.

“It’s pretty basic, but it is very transparent. Everybody in the institution can see everything that goes on everywhere,” says Mark McCambridge, vice president for finance and administration at Oregon State.

At UO, VP for finance Frances Dyke has been busily instructing her employees to remove what little accounting info is available from her website. (See update here.)

Quoting from the email we were sent by an employee of Ms Dyke’s and written at her instruction:

… we removed the information from our publicly-accessible website and restricted access to personnel with a “demonstrably legitimate need for particular information in order to fulfill their official, professional responsibilities.” Those personnel include those who perform business and budget transactions within the BANNER enterprise accounting system (i.e. campus budget and business officers and core-office personnel.)

You can be sure uomatters.com is making every effort to find out exactly what Ms Dyke is trying to hide (legal disclaimer: if anything) and that we will post it publicly as soon as we do.

UPDATE: Soon after we sent her the URL for this post, Ms Dyke sent the email below to all UO faculty and Staff. She sends this out 6 months after the policy is adopted? How does she expect people to report “financial irregularities” when they can’t get any of the accounting information? Oh, wait, I get it – she’s afraid that…

To: University of Oregon Community

From: Frances L. Dyke, Vice President for Finance and Administration

Date: May 4, 2009

Subject: Financial Irregularity Reporting Hotline

All of us share responsibility for ensuring that the university conducts its financial transactions in ways that are ethical, honest, and reflect sound fiduciary practices. Because the University of Oregon and the Oregon University System (OUS) take this obligation seriously, a revised Financial Irregularities Policy was adopted in November 2008 by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education. This revised policy encourages employees to report any suspected financial misconduct to the appropriate university office, the OUS Internal Audit Division, or through the Financial Concerns hotline.

The OUS has contracted with EthicsPoint, an independent, third-party vendor, to provide a confidential and anonymous telephone and Internet system for reporting your financial concerns. The OUS Internal Audit Division administers the hotline system and will follow up on reports.

Additional information concerning the hotline and related policies and procedures can be found on the OUS Reporting Financial Concerns webpage (www.ous.edu/financialconcerns). A link to the OUS Financial Irregularity Reporting Hotline has been provided on the UO Business Affairs (http://baowww.uoregon.edu/) and VPFA (http://vpfa.uoregon.edu/) web pages.

Your commitment to integrity and honesty is an important element in maintaining an ethical and secure workplace environment for everyone. Your help in calling attention to unethical or irregular financial practices is greatly appreciated.

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