State University of New York

Institute for Entrepreneurship: Financial Practices, Program Results and Ongoing Operations

The Institute for Entrepreneurship was created by SUNY to support small business and entrepreneurial efforts through research and the development of academic programs. The Institute was funded mainly by State and Federal grants. We examined the Institute’s use of State funds and it effectiveness in achieving its objectives. We found that State funds were used for inappropriate purposes, including the personal benefit of the Institute’s former Executive Director, who was asked by SUNY to resign because of allegations of financial irregularities. We also determined that the Institute double-billed State and Federal grants for the same expenses. We disallowed about $250,000 in expenses from State funds, and were informed that the auditors of expenses from Federal funds might disallow as much as $1 million.

We further determined that the Institute achieved few of its objectives, and had little to show for the $5.3 million in funds that had been spent since it began operation in August 1998. We recommended that the Institute’s staffing and organizational structure be re-evaluated by SUNY, and future Institute activities be more closely monitored by SUNY. For the duration of our audit, the Institute was being investigated by the State Inspector General’s Office. We sought to coordinate our audit efforts with this investigation, but the results of the investigation were not shared with us.

For a complete copy of Report 2001-S-46 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.