City College Ups Financial Oversight with Monthly Budget Updates
By Annette Mullaney
City College is on track to hit its $5.6 million budget deficit target for the current academic year, though 12 of 30 line items are trending above target spending, according to Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration John al-Amin’s monthly budget update to the Board of Trustees on Feb. 25.
Trustee Alan Wong said that the new monthly budget updates “will help demonstrate how serious we are as a college to bring the budget back on track, and also make sure the public is able to transparently see where we are.”
City College has a history of financial mismanagement. In January 2019, an internal audit found that the college was overpaying some faculty, and underpaying others, by up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Later, the board passed a balanced budget in September, only for then-Chancellor Mark Rocha to announce a $13 million deficit in November.
These, and other instances of untracked overspending, led to requests for an auditor by the Academic Senate, the Full-Time Caucus, and board members.
Internal Auditor and Controller David James reported at the board’s Feb. 11 budget and audit meeting that he had completed his first audit of administrator salaries and benefits.
James also reported that he had finished a special investigation with recommendations. However, the report’s topic and results have not been made public.
James’ next tasks include a review of consultant costs, including how those expenditures are monitored, and an audit of faculty salaries and benefits. Contractor costs is one of the line items trending above targets.