Senator McLachlan, Representative Devlin Call for Immediate Public Hearing on UConn Health Audit

June 18, 2018

State Senator Michael McLachlan (R-24) and Representative Laura Devlin (R-134) sent a letter to the Co-Chairs of the Government Administrations and Elections (GAE) Committee requesting an immediate public hearing on the UConn Health Center. A recent audit by the state’s Auditors of Public Accounts (APA) found violations in hiring and employment practices that cost the state money.

The letter was sent to GAE Co-Chairs Senator Mae Flexer and Representative Daniel Fox. While Sen. McLachlan is also a GAE Co-Chair and Rep. Devlin is its Ranking member, legislative rules require two co-chairs to call a public hearing. State law requires legislative public hearings on APA audits of state agencies.

“Right now, the University of Connecticut is crying poor and entertaining the possibility of raising its tuition higher that it planned. This comes after the Auditors’ report notes that the lackadaisical attitude of administrative officials at the UConn Health Center has resulted in an unbelievable waste of taxpayers’ dollars,” Sen. McLachlan said. “We need to address these problems immediately because UConn students are literally paying the price for the university’s mismanagement. The people of Connecticut deserve answers.”

“As our flagship university, there is no doubt that we want the University of Connecticut to flourish, but the fact is our state is in a fiscal crisis. When UConn is asked to absorb funding adjustments, they claim it is impossible and threaten tuition hikes,” said Rep. Devlin. “The audit findings show there are areas for improvement and the public deserves the opportunity to understand what corrections are being made and how greater accountability will be established.”

Some of the issues noted in the letter include:

  • Violating state policy on the rehiring of retired employees placing additional burdens on the state employee retirement system.
  • Allowing a consultant to approve the performance rating of a state employee that resulted in a pay raise.
  • Paying employees cash for their unused compensatory time.

“The wasteful practices outlined in the audit reveal that the university’s Oliver Twist routine has been a complete sham,” Sen. McLachlan said. “Connecticut has been in a continued state of fiscal crisis for nearly a decade. We have deficits looming in the future. It’s long past time to address wasteful spending at state agencies including UConn.”

Sen. McLachlan is Co-Chair of the Government Administration & Elections Committee and the General Bonding Subcommittee. He is Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee and Labor & Public Employees Committee Member. He is also a member of the Executive & Legislative Nominations Committee, Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee, and Legislative Management Committee. He represents the communities of Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, and Sherman.

Rep. Laura Devlin is ranking member of the Government Administration & Elections Committee. She additionally sits on the Transportation Committee, the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and is a member of the Transportation Bonding Subcommittee. She represents the communities of Fairfield and Trumbull.

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