The squeaky wheel gets the grease – proven true once more.
After my public call-out of the UH Foundation for their questionable research ethics, I got this email from the Controller of the Foundation:
I am sorry to hear that you are not pleased with the Foundation’s actions. I would like to clarify the reason for our inquiries and delay over your reimbursement.
First of all, the Foundation requires that all original receipts be submitted to us. The receipts that were submitted with your request were copies, therefore, we were required to follow up to see if originals were available. The reason for requiring original receipts is to ensure that we don’t inadvertently pay an invoice twice.
Secondly, gift cards given for services, prizes or awards can be viewed by the IRS as income to the recipients. In order to make a determination whether these gift cards are reportable to the IRS, we had to inquire who they were given to, the amount given to each person and the purpose. At the time of our inquiry, we did not know that they were given to students for their participation in a study in which their names were confidential. Once we were made aware of the situation, we documented our records that the study was confidential and proceeded to process your check. We see many different scenarios throughout the 10 campuses and need to understand each one and document exceptions to the general rule. Please understand that similar to you, we need to make sure our records are in compliance with any audit that we are subject to.
You were awarded the grant in April 2008 but have not received any funds. I am not sure what happened to your request for reimbursement between November 2008 and March 2009. Our records show that the first request for reimbursement we received was on March 12, 2009.
I hope this gives some insight into our inquiries over your reimbursement. We did not intend for this to be a difficult process and would be happy to discuss any further concerns with you. Your reimbursement check will be included in our next check print which is Monday, April 13th. Thank you.
Super! All is forgiven. I will look forward to receiving that check. And I’ll be squeaking some more if I don’t get it as promised. :)
And in case you were wondering if this blog was, in fact, the catalyst for the email, try a Google search for “UH Foundation.” My post is the fourth hit.
Update (4/8/09): Up to #3 on a Google search! Whee!
Update (4/9/09): My check has been delivered! It will soon be in my hands. Thanks for the quick action, UH Foundation!
Update (4/16/09): I picked up my check yesterday! The entire issue is now behind me. :)