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Things are bad in Canada

2/17/2010: People may remember current Senate President Tublitz’s Motion on Financial Transparency, from last April. Passed on a unanimous voice vote, it says

MOTION: The University Senate directs the University of Oregon Administration to establish a publicly accessible, on-line budget reporting system at the University of Oregon by 1 September 2009 that will allow users to track current and retroactive individual university expenditures as is currently done at our sister institution Oregon State University on their budget reporting website.

Despite speaking against the motion in the Senate, a week or so later, VP for Finance Frances Dyke agreed to implement the system, in this memo:

Obviously it is now nearly a year since the motion, and 6 months past the date Ms Dyke suggested for having a working system. There is something in place – available through the employee menu in duckweb – but it does not even allow you to drill down to the specific account level, much less transactions. So, for example, you can’t see what you have spent from your ASA or grant account or what is left.

In December Peter Gilkey appointed a Senate Working Group to help move this along. They are working now with the UO Controller, Kelly Wolf – who has already done a lot to improve reporting of UO financial information.

2 weeks ago the group met with the OSU VP for Finance Mark McCambridge, who showed us his system – now several years old – and talked about its benefits in terms of trust, transparency, and efficiency.  

The group was supposed to meet Tuesday with the programmers in charge of the UO effort, but that was canceled by the UO administration at the last minute without explanation. They are going to try again to meet with the programmer in charge of the project today.

The following week the group meets with General Counsel Melinda Grier about how Oregon’s public records law applies to this system. McCambridge has said there have been no problems with the OSU system.

Oh yeah, what about Canada?

EDMONTON – University of Alberta faculty have agreed to take six unpaid days of vacation next year in exchange for the chance to review and critique previously confidential financial planning documents.

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