Auditors criticize UConn’s award of $93K in bonuses without criteria

The University of Connecticut, without establishing specific criteria, gave out $93,286 in one-time performance bonuses to six employees to recognize their work implementing a new financial reporting system, the state auditors reported Wednesday.

In a report covering the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years, Auditors John C. Geragosian and Robert M. Ward also wrote the bonuses followed no structured plan, which “gives the impression that the payments were determined in an arbitrary and subjective manner.”

The university countered that the six employees of the Finance and Budget Division had not received overtime or compensatory time while implementing UConn’s new general ledger and financial system, developed by Kuali Financial System.

But UConn officials did agree not to provide bonuses in the future without first developing criteria and a formal plan.

According to records obtained by The Mirror, the recipients, their positions and their respective bonuses were:

  • Charles Eaton II, controller, $17,782.26;
  • Robin Graves-Hoagland, director of accounting, $18,116.44;
  • Matthew Larson, director of procurement services, $18,755.15;
  • Lori-Ann Hansen-Roy, manager of financial systems and cost analysis, $12,134.33;
  • Brett Paulson, interim manager of financial systems, $13,588.34;
  • Lynn Hallarin, director of the business services center, $12,891.23.

The auditors added that the university couldn’t provide any documentation supporting the bonuses except the payroll authorizations that listed the specific amounts.

Those gross amounts reportedly were chosen so that the net payments to recipients would equal round numbers, such as $7,500 or $10,000.

University spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz did not comment on the audit, but referred The Mirror to UConn’s written responses to the auditors, included in the report.

“During the project, these individuals spent a significant amount of time in addition to their normal work schedule on this implementation,” the university wrote. “Their efforts contributed significantly to this project being implemented on time and under budget.”

But the university also wrote that “in the future, if senior management decides to award performance-based pay for successful delivery of major projects, a formal plan will be developed.”