Stem Cell Agency Audit Finds No Problems
An audit of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine found no evidence of improper financial practices during fiscal year 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The audit is required annually by Proposition 71, which voters approved in 2004 to fund stem cell research. Accounting firm Gilbert Associates was hired to conduct the audit, which addressed the time from CIRM's inception in November 2004 through June 2005.
Proposition 71 also requires the controller's office to review the audit, but Controller Steve Westly's staff in a letter released Wednesday said his office was prevented from making copies of working documents used for the audit. Gilbert Associates staff said the documents could not be copied because they were proprietary, state officials said.
The access issues "didn't pose any major problems" with the initial audit because the agency has not been able to operate fully while lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 71 are pending, according to the Chronicle. However, limited access to the documents "could create problems" if the agency begins awarding major grants, the Chronicle reports.
Walter Barnes, chief administrative officer of CIRM, said officials already are making the changes recommended by Westly's staff and are discussing a plan "to make information available in copy form for the next audit" (Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/22).
The independent audit and controller's review are available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the documents.