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On March 27, representatives from NACUBO, the American Council on Education (ACE), and the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) met with officials from the Department of Education to discuss ED’s plans to mandate a Web-based collection process for the submission of institutional audits. The higher education associations expressed concerns that this new eZ-Audit process violated the Single Audit Act and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133, set a bad precedent for other federal agencies, and imposed new administrative burdens on campuses by requiring them to input numerous data elements into ED’s system.

The associations asked ED to consider making eZ-Audit a voluntary process and working with OMB to develop a government-wide electronic process that all agencies could use. NACUBO also noted that this process currently calls for unnecessary or duplicative data, and some data elements lack appropriate definition.

Following the meeting, NACUBO, ACE, COGR, and other associations sent a joint letter to ED summarizing concerns about the new eZ-Audit process. Institutions that submitted their audits for the past fiscal year to the Federal Audit Clearinghouse on or before March 31, 2003, are under no immediate pressure to sign up for the new system, which went live on April 1. NACUBO will provide an update as soon as ED responds to our concerns.

For a copy of the eZ-Audit letter, go to the ACE Web site or for more information, contact Laurie Quarles, NACUBO senior policy analyst, at (202) 861-2543 or laurie.quarles@nacubo.org.


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