An audit of finances related to the University of Hawaiʻi’s management of Maunakea will be presented to the UH Board of Regents Committee on Independent Audit on Wednesday, December 19, 2019 at 10:30 a.m., at the UH Mānoa Information Technology Building first floor conference room.
The audit concluded that the “University entities involved with Maunakea have developed processes and procedures to appropriately account for their respective transactions in connection with their management of Maunakea.”
The audit was conducted at the direction of the Board of Regents by its February 2018 resolution requiring the UH Office of Internal Audit to evaluate university funds, lease payments and external funds received in support of stewardship, management, education and other activities related to Maunakea. The audit also included the review of transfers of funds between entities including both the university and the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi (RCUH) and payments made to university-related support programs by the Maunakea observatories or other third parties.
The audit analyzed and/or reviewed the following:
The UH Office of Internal Audit also toured the university’s facilities on Maunakea, including the Visitor Information Station; lodging, dining and administrative facilities at Halepōhaku, the mid level facility, and observatories.
The audit made several recommendations. Here are summaries of each recommendation and managementʻs response:
1. MKSS should consider consulting and collaborating with RCUH to determine whether accounting system enhancements are available to allow for a more efficient recordation of transactions
2. Internal Audit noted that payroll registers for historical fiscal years (in excess of one year) are not maintained by RCUH. Accordingly, MKSS should monitor the status of RCUH’s proposed system enhancement to archive historical payroll registers.
3. MKSS should consider improving its documentation in regards to transfers between cost centers to ensure the flow of financial information is complete and accurate.
4. In connection with the process of obtaining a new land authorization, OMKM and the observatories should discuss allocating a portion of Ranger Program costs to all observatories given the increase of these costs since 2000.
5. Determine if the commercial tour operator per passenger charge ($6) is sufficient to recover the costs incurred by OMKM and MKSS.
6. The UH Institute for Astronomy should consult with the Financial Management Office to determine the applicability of Government Accounting Standard Board Statement No. 83, Certain Asset Retirement Obligations related to the future decommissioning of the four observatories owned by the university.