UConn 2000 Program – UConn broke the law and was caught.  Now they are doing it again

From today’s CT Mirror

UConn first came under fire over its capital program in 2005 amid reports that new dormitories that hadn’t been subjected to fire and other safety code inspections had been opened and were housing roughly 5,000 students.

An investigatory panel appointed by Rell and chaired by former Rep. Jonathan Pelto, D-Mansfield, concluded UConn had improperly shifted tens of millions of dollars from one project to another. That investigation also showed that funds earmarked for deferred maintenance were used for expansions and new construction.

Rell and the legislature responded with several reforms in 2006, including creation of the Construction Management Oversight Committee. It was was comprised of seven members — four appointed jointly by the governor and legislative leaders and three named by the UConn Board of Trustees. UConn also appoints the chairman of the oversight panel.

“The Governor’s Commission on UConn Review and Accountability recommended a strict oversight process for UConn 2000 building funds,” Pelto said Monday. “The legislature put those recommendations into law. … It is beyond shocking that they have returned to their old ways and have been ducking the mandated oversight process.”

As the CT Mirror reports in, State officials let UConn 2000 oversight panel languish for years,

Deprived of overdue appointments, the panel tasked with overseeing the University of Connecticut’s capital building program has not met since December 2014, according to records obtained by The Mirror.

Governors and legislative leaders have not made appointments to the UConn 2000 Construction Management Oversight Committee since 2009, despite repeated warnings from the university that some members’ terms had expired.

This disclosure comes two weeks after state auditors reported UConn improperly redirected nearly $50 million in funds earmarked for deferred maintenance, instead spending it to expand and upgrade various facilities. The redirection of deferred maintenance funds was one of the chief allegations raised 11 years ago that led legislators and then-Gov. M. Jodi Rell to establish the oversight committee in law.

And while Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office was uncertain Monday about the need for new appointees — and questioned the recent conclusions of state Auditors John C. Geragosian and Robert M. Ward — several legislative leaders took a different stand, recommending that the committee be reactivated and saying that UConn needs greater oversight now.

You can read the entire disturbing story at: http://ctmirror.org/2016/09/27/state-officials-let-uconn-2000-oversight-panel-languish-for-years/