HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

114

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2013

H.D. 3

STATE OF HAWAII

S.D. 1

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO HIGHER EDUCATION.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


PART I

Section 1. The legislature finds that the prudent and transparent management of public funds appropriated by the legislature and expended by the University of Hawaii is a matter of statewide concern and therefore under the legislature's purview pursuant to article X, section 6, of the Hawaii state constitution.

The purpose of this Act, therefore, is to:

(1) Require that all University of Hawaii procurements for construction, including consultant services necessary for construction, shall be subject to the control of, and performed by, the department of accounting and general services on behalf of the University, subject to certain requirements; and

(2) Establish an independent audit committee within the board of regents of the University of Hawaii to assist the board in discharging its constitutional powers and duties with respect to the university.

PART II

SECTION 2. Section 304A-105, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) The board of regents shall develop internal policies and procedures for the procurement of goods, services, and construction, consistent with the goals of public accountability and public procurement practices, subject to chapter 103D. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, all procurements for construction, including consultant services necessary for such construction, shall be subject to the control of, and performed by, the department of accounting and general services on behalf of the university; provided that the department of accounting and general services shall not be responsible for procurements necessary, as determined by the comptroller, for continuing ongoing university projects; provided further that contracts for construction or related construction consultant contracts that are in effect on the effective date of Act      , Session Laws of Hawaii 2013, shall not be assumed by the department of accounting and general services but shall remain under the control of the university."

PART III

SECTION 3. Chapter 304A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to subpart A of part I to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"304A-   Independent audit committee; established. (a) There is established within the board of regents of the University of Hawaii an advisory body to be known as the independent audit committee.

(b) The independent audit committee shall consist of at least three members but not more than five members who shall be appointed by the chairperson of the board of regents, from among the members of the board of regents, except as provided in this subsection. The chair of the independent audit committee shall be selected by and from among its members.

The independent audit committee shall include one or more individuals with financial expertise. If no member of the board of regents has the requisite skills, the board of regents shall execute other arrangements, which may include the appointment of members of the general public to the independent audit committee who possess the requisite financial expertise, to ensure that the independent audit committee has the capacity to carry out its duties.

(c) The board of regents shall generally:

(1) Establish the charter of the independent audit committee and set forth its members' roles and responsibilities;

(2) Consider changes to the independent audit committee's charter that are necessary in response to new laws, regulations, and best practices; and

(3) Conduct an annual review of the independent audit committee's charter to reassess its adequacy and adopt any proposed and necessary changes to the charter.

(d) The independent audit committee shall undertake professional development to improve the financial expertise of the independent audit committee as a whole, including:

(1) Attendance at seminars and conferences;

(2) Attendance at educational sessions including special speakers; and

(3) The study of analytical tools for audit committees.

(e) The independent audit committee shall engage in operations relating to enterprise risk management, including but not limited to:

(1) Providing oversight of risk management, including determining overall strategy and influencing the university's risk philosophy;

(2) Inquiring of the president of the University of Hawaii, the chief financial officer of the university, and external auditors about significant risks or exposures faced by the university;

(3) Assessing steps that the president of the University of Hawaii has taken or proposes to take to minimize those risks to the university;

(4) Periodically reviewing compliance with those steps; and

(5) Reviewing with the general counsel of the University of Hawaii, external auditors, external counsel, and the chief financial officer of the university legal and regulatory matters that, in the opinion of the president of the University of Hawaii, may have a material impact upon the financial statements, related organization compliance policies, and programs and reports received from regulators.

(f) The independent audit committee shall hold meetings as needed to address matters on its agenda, not less frequently than twice per year. The independent audit committee may request the attendance of the president of the University of Hawaii or others to provide pertinent information as necessary. The board of regents shall provide in the charter of the independent audit committee for the independent audit committee's unanimous consent approval of actions to deal with decisions required between meetings.

(g) The independent audit committee shall review its effectiveness annually and shall prepare, or oversee the preparation of, an annual report to the board of regents.

(h) The independent audit committee annual report shall address other matters affecting the management and organization of the University of Hawaii by engaging in functions, including:

(1) Reviewing with the president of the University of Hawaii and the external auditor the effect of any regulatory and accounting initiatives and unique transactions, including relationships with legally separate entities, to determine whether the accounting for those transactions applied best practices;

(2) Reviewing significant related party transactions;

(3) Reviewing with the president of the University of Hawaii and the chief financial officer of the university, any interim financial reports or reports on internal control issued with respect to the university since the last meeting of the independent audit committee; and

(4) Reviewing with any external auditor who performs an audit the following:

(A) All critical accounting policies and practices used by the external auditor; provided that:

(i) All alternative treatments of financial information within generally accepted accounting principles have been discussed with the president of the University of Hawaii;

(ii) The ramifications of each alternative are discussed; and

(iii) The treatment preferred by the university is discussed;

(B) Any consultation with audit firms other than the external auditor, including the reasons for, and results of, the consultation; and

(C) Any other information relating to significant estimates and judgments.

(i) The independent audit committee shall also review with any external auditor and the chief financial officer of the university matters affecting internal control and the internal audit, including:

(1) The adequacy of the University of Hawaii's internal control, including computerized information system controls and security; and

(2) Any related significant findings and recommendations of the external auditor and internal audit services, together with the responses of the president of the University of Hawaii.

(j) The independent audit committee shall also review matters affecting the accounting policies and procedures of the University of Hawaii by:

(1) Ensuring that accounting policies, procedures, and related controls are documented and reviewed with the independent audit committee;

(2) Reviewing accounting controls annually;

(3) Reviewing with the president of the University of Hawaii policies and procedures with respect to officers, key employees, and disqualified persons as defined under section 4958 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended; and

(4) Inquiring of the president of the University of Hawaii and the chief financial officer regarding the financial health of the university.

(k) The independent audit committee shall review the University of Hawaii's antifraud programs and controls and aid in discovery and remedy if incidences of fraud should occur.

(l) Notwithstanding part V of chapter 378, the independent audit committee shall review:

(1) Procedures for the receipt, retention, and treatment of complaints received by the University of Hawaii regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, auditing matters, or suspected fraud that may be submitted by any party internal or external to the university; and

(2) Any complaints that may have been received, the current status of such complaints, and the resolution of such complaints, if any resolution has been reached;

provided that complaints under this section shall be accorded the same protections as under part V of chapter 378.

(m) With regard to internal control and internal audit, the independent audit committee shall also:

(1) Review with any external auditor, the chief financial officer of the university, and the comptroller the audit scope and plan of the internal auditors;

(2) Address the coordination of audit efforts to ensure the completeness of coverage, reduction of redundant efforts, and the effective use of audit resources; and

(3) Discuss with the chief financial officer of the university and the external auditor opportunities for reliance by the external auditor on the audit activities of any internal audit.

(n) For internal audits, the independent audit committee shall review the following with the president of the University of Hawaii and the chief financial officer of the university:

(1) Significant findings of internal audits conducted during the university's previous and current fiscal year and the president's responses;

(2) Whether internal auditors have encountered difficulties in discharging their responsibilities in the course of their audits, such as any restrictions on the scope of their work or access to required information;

(3) Any changes required in the scope of internal audits;

(4) The budget and staffing of internal audit operations;

(5) An audit plan to govern internal audits; and

(6) The compliance of internal audits with the Institute of Internal Auditors' International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.

(o) Internal auditors shall meet separately with any external auditor to coordinate audit plans to optimize the ability of the external auditor to rely upon the results of the internal audit team.

(p) The independent audit committee shall annually evaluate the performance of the internal audit, including:

(1) The adequacy of the audit plan;

(2) The management of the execution of the audit plan;

(3) The adequacy of human and other resources available to execute the audit plan;

(4) The ability of any external auditor to rely upon the internal audit work product in the external auditor's annual audit; and

(5) The nature of the findings or results of any internal audits.

(q) Subject to approval by the board of regents, the independent audit committee shall select one or more external auditors to be retained by the University of Hawaii. The independent audit committee shall:

(1) Approve the audit plan;

(2) Establish the audit fees of any external auditor;

(3) Pre-approve any non-audit services provided by the external auditor, including tax services, before such services are rendered;

(4) Review with the president of the University of Hawaii the significance of contracting out audit services; and

(5) Ensure that single audit obligations are incorporated into the annual audit plan.

(r) The independent audit committee shall review all material written communications between any external auditor and the president of the University of Hawaii, such as any management letter or schedule of unadjusted differences.

(s) The independent audit committee shall annually evaluate any external auditor; provided that communications with the external auditor in the evaluation shall be done so as to maintain the open flow of communication between the external auditor and the independent audit committee.

(t) The independent audit committee shall review the following matters relating to the annual audit with the president of the University of Hawaii and any external auditor:

(1) The university's annual financial statements and related footnotes;

(2) The external auditor's audit of the financial statements and the external auditor's report;

(3) The external auditor's judgments about the quality of the university's accounting principles as applied in the university's financial reporting;

(4) Any significant changes required in the external auditor's audit plan;

(5) Any serious difficulties or disputes with the president of the University of Hawaii encountered during the audit; and

(6) Matters to be discussed by the Statement on Auditing Standards No. 114, The Auditor's Communication with those Charged with Governance (AICPA, Professional Standards), related to the conduct of the annual audit.

(u) The independent audit committee may hire external auditors, legal counsel, or other consultants as necessary, to address any issues arising from:

(1) The execution of the whistleblower protection procedures established under subsection (l);

(2) Any statutory or contractual procedures when engaging external resources; and

(3) The detection of fraud.

(v) The independent audit committee shall submit an annual report to the board of regents and the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session of the legislature on matters that include the following:

(1) All instances of material weakness in internal control, including the responses of university management to these instances; and

(2) All instances of fraud, including the responses of university management to these instances."

PART IV

SECTION 4. The administrator of the state procurement office shall submit a report of the administrator's findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, relating to the transparency, efficiency, and compliance of the University of Hawaii's procurement of construction contracts and construction-related consultant services pursuant to chapter 103D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and improvement, if any, in adhering to the requirements in section 2 of this Act.

PART V

SECTION 5. In printing this Act, the revisor of statutes shall insert in section 2 of this Act the corresponding act number of this Act.

SECTION 6. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that section 2 of this Act shall be repealed on July 1, 2015, and section 304A-105(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall be reenacted in the form in which it read on the day prior to the effective date of this Act.



 

Report Title:

University of Hawaii; Procurement; Independent Audit Committee

 

Description:

Amends section 304A-105(b), HRS, to require all University of Hawaii procurements for construction, including consultant services necessary for construction, to be subject to the control of, and performed by, the department of accounting and general services on behalf of the University, subject to certain requirements. Requires a report on the impacts of and compliance with the amendments to section 304A-105(b), HRS, to the legislature. Repeals the amendments to section 304A-105(b), HRS, on July 1, 2015. Establishes an independent audit committee within the board of regents of the University of Hawaii. (SD1)

 

 

 

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