To help improve accountability in the university's budget process, and to help minimize the risk of unfair damage to its reputation, the university should take additional steps to increase the transparency of its budget process. Specifically, the Office of the President should update its budget manual to reflect current practices and make its revised budget manual, including relevant formulas and other methodologies for determining budget amounts, available on its Web site.
The budget manual has been updated and posted at the following location: http://www.ucop.edu/operating-budget/_files/systemwide_budget_manual_07312015.pdf
The UC's budget manual--dated July 31, 2015, and posted online--is a 23-page, five-chapter document that describes major budget components, including the following: key systemwide cost centers (e.g., compensation, health and retirement benefits, and nonsalary items like equipment); systemwide revenue sources (e.g., state funding, tuition, and student fees), the core principles for allocating State General Funds to campuses, the allocation of campus-generated revenues, calculations to cover the costs of the Office of the President, and calculating and allocating student financial aid funding.
Work continues on the development of the new budget manual. While we have had ongoing communication to ensure our staff are following current process, formalizing this guidance in the updated budget manual has taken longer than expected. With the implementation of two new major processes for allocation of funds, the areas that need to be covered by the budget manual have expanded considerably. At the same time, the workload in the systemwide budget office has increased dramatically, in part due to ongoing requests from the State government. It is expected that a new budget manual will now be completed in time for the 2015-16 academic year.
See prior update plus the addition below:
We have been working to update the Budget Manual in a way that accurately reflects the major changes that have been made in the way money flows through the university and gets distributed. While we completed a first draft of the manual last spring, we realized it did not cover enough of the issues campuses would find useful. Therefore, we have found it necessary to solicit input from the campuses to help us craft a document that has pertinence and utility at this time when the relationship between campuses and OP has continued to evolve. To do this in a meaningful way, we found it necessary to form a workgroup with campus budget folks to help us work out what sort of manual would be suitable and useful given recent changes in university budgeting. We estimate this will take the full academic year to complete and hope to have a more useful manual in time for the 2014-15 academic year.
The University regards this commitment as a high priority. However, many aspects of the University's budget process have changed recently and the University anticipates that more changes could occur depending on the outcome of Proposition 30 on the November 2012 ballot. Because of this uncertainty, and the understaffing of the office responsible for this function, completion of a new budget manual has been delayed. The University intends to complete a new budget manual during the 2013-14 fiscal year.
†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year or subsequent to one year.
*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.