The University of Wisconsin System made $15.4 million in overpayments for health insurance premiums - including $8 million for 924 employees who had been terminated - and miscalculated retirement contributions that resulted in overpayments of another $17.5 million to the state retirement system, according to a financial audit for fiscal 2011-'12 released Thursday by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau.
The findings prompted Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Allouez), co-chairman of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, to call for a more comprehensive review of the state university system's new Human Resource System because the audit identified a lack of oversight and monitoring of fringe benefit processes. The audit also raised concerns about weaknesses in security over the system that could increase the risk of inadvertent, erroneous or unauthorized changes to UW System payroll and benefits.
"The findings from the (Legislative Audit Bureau) highlight an unfortunate recurring trend of fiscal mismanagement by the UW System," Cowles said in his statement calling for a more comprehensive review.
The errors occurred during "a period of stabilization" for a new Human Resource System - a large, complex statewide system implemented in April 2011, UW System officials said.