Wednesday, Jun 19, 2019

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Ohio University provides initial response to Ohio Inspector General investigation issued today

Ohio University has been cooperating with the Ohio Inspector General’s (OIG) review of our business practices for over three years. This morning, the resulting report was released. It can be accessed at: http://watchdog.ohio.gov/Investigations/2018Investigations.aspx.

“We have been cooperating with the Inspector General’s office regarding its review of Ohio University’s business practices for over three years, so we were anticipating the release of this report,” said Ohio University General Counsel John Biancamano.

Part of the University’s participation included sharing of records, documents and interviews with key personnel involved in the state contracts and transactions that were under the purview of the Inspector General’s investigation.

“As soon as we learned there were issues surrounding this transaction, we acted immediately to investigate internally and take action, said Vice President Finance and Administration Deb Shaffer. “We have made some steps to address several issues identified in the report and will continue to do so.”

Some key findings detailed in the report include:

  • OIG determined that there was no evidence of wrongful acts or omissions regarding the allegation that the university agreed to purchase the house owned by a local realtor in return for a large donation.
  • OIG questioned certain costs and concluded the University had respectively made overpayments for maintenance on the lease in the amount of $20,449.
  • OIG made a referral to the Ohio State Auditor for review and consideration of their investigative report and findings.
  • Additionally, the OIG provided recommendations to Ohio University to strengthen internal controls for contracts and leases; accounting; real estate; and donations, gifts and pledges.

The University will continue its thorough examination of the report and provide a formal response to the Ohio Inspector General within 60-days as per the official process.