The Cavalier Daily
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CIOs fail to utilize $130,000 in funds

This year about $130,000 of Student Activities Fee money was not used and will be recycled back into the SAF fund for the Appropriations Committee to use for next year's allocations to Contracted Independent Organizations.

The $130,000 is "about 20 percent of the total amount of allocations-up considerably from past years," Student Activities Business Manager William Hancher said.

In April the Committee allocated $484,334 to 166 CIOs in SAF monies, after receiving requests from groups totaling $721,066.08.

"The previous five years the average return was 11.3 percent," Hancher said.

The unused funds will earn interest and this money will be used for next year's appropriations allocations, he said.

"There are always groups that don't use their money," he added.

The 1993-94 returns totaled $39,756, the lowest in the last five years, said H. Sam Miller, assistant to the vice president for student affairs.

The 1995-96 year saw a $76,275 return, but the $130,000 return is "unprecedented," he said.

"Every year there's always some amount of money returned," he added.

Chief Financial Officer John Finley said he is concerned about the high amount of returned funds.

"It worries me that groups don't spend all the money they are allocated," Finley said.

"It leads me to believe that many groups inflate their budgets."

Every year, each CIO must submit a budget to the Committee. Following that step of the process, each student group goes through a hearing which helps Committee members decide how much money groups will receive. The Committee then deliberates to determine allocations.

Jamey Thompson, Council vice president for organizations, said the large sum of returned money should not affect the Committee's allocation decisions next year.

"The goal of the appropriations process is to objectively assess the financial needs of CIOs and to fund them accordingly using the limited resources of the SAF," Thompson said.

"That goal should not be compromised be there more than enough money or not enough-the same practices should be used in all situations."

Miller said he thought there were two reasons groups did not spend all their allocations.

"I think it's a combination of groups waiting later [in the year] to do activities" and then they run out of time for them, he said. "And many groups also don't have strong advisors and this is reflected in the fact they can't get organized to spend" all their funding.

"The number of groups not even spending their funding may be going up and this fall the Appropriations Committee can take a look and find out why these things are happening," he added.

While in the past the Committee has been required to make budget cuts after completing all allocations due to insufficient funding, Finley said this year that will not be necessary.

"There will not be cuts for the first time in several years," he said.

Thompson said he thought the surplus comes from failed programming efforts that result from poor leadership and organization.

"Hopefully in the future organizations will work harder to carry out all their planned activities," Thompson said.

"I agree with Mr. Thompson," Finley said.