February 19, 2010

Analysis: UMB audit likely fodder for budget hearings

Print More

The fallout from an audit this week that found $410,000 in questionable payments to a high-ranking University of Maryland, Baltimore official could very well play out into legislative budget deliberations this year.

Del. John Bohanan, the St. Mary’s County Democrat who heads the House panel that will review UMB’s budget, said the audit brought up some significant issues. He said he thought the institution was taking some steps to remedy them, but lawmakers will look to ensure that there are no repeats.

“We may restrict funding, we may cut funding, [or] we may direct them to shore up some shorfalls,” Bohanan said when asked about the audit.

Legislative audits during the General Assembly session are often released right around the time lawmakers begin to dig into agency budgets, and this one comes while college and university programs are undergoing scrutiny in budget subcommittee this year.

The highest profile of the findings for UMB have to do with the payments, which came on top of the employee’s regular salary and weren’t disclosed to the General Assembly. Check out The Sun and The Gazette for more on the findings. UPDATE: Childs Walker of The Sun reports that the official was former law school dean Karen Rothenberg.

–Andy Rosen