IAA case creates confusion When the Undergraduate Assembly's Budget Committee decided to audit the International Affairs Association two months ago, it was the first time the body had undertaken such an investigation. It was also the last time. The UA's announcement of the audit sparked a great deal of controversy. Many groups claimed it was not within the UA's constitutional rights to conduct such an audit. But the UA maintained that it was entitled to look into the IAA's use of funds, since the records in the Office of Student Life are accessible to all students. Many wondered why the Budget Committee did not simply conduct the audit in conjunction with the Student Activities Council's Finance Committee, especially since two of its three members -- UA Treasurer and Daily Pennsylvanian sports writer Steve Schorr and UA member Tom Foldesi -- are also on SAC Finance. "It doesn't make sense to me," IAA President and College senior Brendan Cahill said. "It seems to me that it is a stronger case for them to go through [SAC Finance] because they have two voices instead of the usual one." But UA Chairperson and College senior Lance Rogers said the Budget Committee maintained an open working relationship with SAC Finance, adding that the opposition to the audit stemmed from SAC Finance itself. The Budget Committee released its findings at the end of last month, claiming that the IAA misused $1,500 in SAC funds. Less than one week later, SAC Finance released the results of its own audit -- performed with IAA's personal books -- which vindicated the IAA. This caused many members of the UA to reconsider their support of the audit, which they had pledged only two weeks before. The UA body subsequently voted to send a letter to the DP apologizing to the IAA. Although the letter was written and approved by the body, it was never submitted. And Cahill said he never received an apology. Rogers said the body changed its mind because "after the audit results became public, the numbers in the OSL started changing," giving UA members the sense that the audit was not fully comprehensive. Rogers added that the Budget Committee will be conducting any future audits in conjunction with SAC Finance, an agreement he said was reached prior to the release of SAC Finance's own audit.Comments powered by Disqus
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