Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Accountability starts with counting 

George Will writes in the May 12 edition of Newsweek that �hypocrisy of an unusual purity is on display as union leaders try to avoid disclosing truthful financial information to their members.�

Should our faculty�s statewide union leaders consider applying to themselves the same rigorous disclosure standards that are now mandated for businesses under last year�s Sarbanes-Oxley legislation? Should they post their detailed annual income and disbursements to the Inter-Faculty Organization web site?

If they did, maybe our employer, MnSCU, might follow suit. At last December�s meeting of the Audit Committee of MnSCU�s Board it was noted that, �At this time, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is [sic] not required to follow Sarbanes-Oxley, but may want to consider it for the future because bond agencies are looking for it and it is the �gold standard.��

What we see on MnSCU�s site today is only an unaudited summary of such broad disbursement accounts as salaries, purchased services, supplies, repairs, and depreciation. Check out pages numbered 98-99 of this report to review the aggregate spending by MnSCU "system-wide" and for the Chancellor�s Office in FY 2002. If you're a Minnesota taxpayer, do these figures tell you anything?