The University of New Mexico Audit Department has completed its audit of the Student Bar Association bank accounts and posted the report on the auditor’s website. The School of Law and SBA have already put into place the measures outlined in the audit to prevent the misuse of funds. The recommendations include implementing reporting and control systems, mandatory budget management training for all group officers, budget reporting requirements related to group meetings and minutes, and ongoing scrutiny and oversight of student group accounts.

“We take this matter very seriously. We are grateful for the work of the University Audit Department and those who have assisted in this process,” UNM Law School Dean David Herring said. “We have been provided with effective recommendations, and we have embraced and are implementing these recommendations,”  

The audit includes the following specific recommendations and actions.

Recommendation:

All law school chartered organization treasurers shall be required to sign a declaration affirming they do not have an outside bank account and are not aware of any outside bank account for their organization. This declaration will be signed during the first week of the fall semester every school year.

Action:

A law school wide, mandatory Student Organization Training was held August 20, 2014 at noon in room 2404. At this meeting, all student organization officers were informed that outside accounts are forbidden. An attestation to this effect was handed out at the meeting and those in attendance signed copies. The form verifies that the officers understand no outside bank accounts are permitted, and that to their knowledge, none exist. The School of Law is nearing 100% compliance on having a signed form from every club treasurer.

Recommendation:

Accounting will monitor SBA accounts and check against the approved budget and known large events planned for SBA in the semester.

Action:

The law school accounting department will check against the SBA’s approved budget for large events and will closely monitor and prevent any spending that creates an account deficit.

Recommendation:

The Assistant Dean for Student services will work with the SBA board to prepare a calendar of events for the upcoming year. The calendar will include listing of events such as back to school barbecues, Halloween parties, Barrister’s Ball, etc. 

Action:

A meeting set was held August 27, 2014 with SBA Secretary to draft a calendar listing all major events.  The Assistant Dean for Student Services requested time at the next SBA meeting to train all other officers on these items.

Summary:

The law school administration has taken steps to verify that no clubs have outside bank accounts. Law School Accounting is monitoring their account regularly and closely. The SBA is required to provide a calendar to accounting listing all major events so that accounting can monitor spending to ensure it matches the events as they occur. SBA officers are being trained on proper budget management and board approval procedures to ensure transparency in their transactions.