D.C. Auditor Otis H. Troupe has questioned the University of the District of Columbia's use of several thousand dollars to hire outside consultants, according to sources familiar with a draft audit of the school's expenditures since Robert L. Green became president.
Troupe's report, which has not yet been made public pending responses from Green and other top university officials, specifically questions five consulting contracts worth a total of nearly $4,000, the sources said.
The report contends that the university did not produce evidence that work had been done by the five consultants and states that the university did not follow proper procedures in awarding and paying for the contracts, sources said. For example, competitive bids were not sought for the contracts, they said.
One payment cited in the report, for about $560, was made to an agent for Robert L. Green & Associates Inc., a consulting firm that Green founded while he was a dean at Michigan State University, according to the sources.
Thomas Atkins, a New York lawyer retained by Green, denied yesterday that the university had made a payment to Green's firm.
"There are a number of inaccuracies" in the draft report, Atkins said. He said that the university is preparing a response to Troupe's report and that an outside accounting firm has been retained to assist in the response.
Green, 52, has come under criticism from some UDC trustees and officials and members of the D.C. City Council for his use of university funds for personal expenditures. It has previously been reported that Troupe's draft report concludes that Green, who is paid $74,900 as UDC president, misspent about $14,000 of university funds since taking office in September 1983, including some for his travel expenses and for flowers sent to Cassandra A. Simmons, a longtime associate in Michigan.
Atkins said it was "unfortunate" that information in the draft report has been leaked to the press before UDC has had an opportunity to answer questions raised in the report. He said he didn't know if Green's consulting firm is still functioning.
The latest annual report for the firm, which was filed with the state of Michigan in July 1984, listed Green as president and a director of the firm, his wife Lettie as secretary-treasurer and a director and three sons as directors.
The five consulting contracts questioned by Troupe were paid from the university's "representation fund," which is controlled by the president and used to pay for expenses connected with his official duties. A source familiar with the draft report said Troupe contends that Green violated UDC Board of Trustee guidelines by using the fund to pay salaries, but that Green insists that his expenditures from the fund were proper.
The use of paid consultants by District government agencies has become increasingly controversial in recent years. For example, Troupe previously issued a report sharply criticizing Mayor Marion Barry's administration for awarding consulting contracts to former high-level city officials.
According to documents released to The Washington Post under the D.C. Freedom of Information Act, UDC has spent about $80,000 during the last two years to hire former colleagues of Green's to serve as consultants to the university or the city government.
The consultants cited in those records are not among the five with contracts mentioned in Troupe's draft report and they were paid from a different university fund, according to an informed source.
In one instance, the D.C. Department of Public Works hired three consultants recommended by UDC to help organize an office of management services. Those consultants were paid from $20,000 in university funds that were transferred to the Public Works Department, according to UDC records and a public works spokeswoman.
A university official said that part of UDC's role as a public university is to assist other city government agencies in staff development and training.
Two of the consultants hired by public works were associates of Green and had previously received UDC consulting contacts.
Simmons, one of the consultants hired by public works, is a former student of Green's and has received five consulting contracts totaling $12,600 from UDC in fiscal 1984, according to UDC records. Simmons received an additional $3,468 for working as a management adviser in Green's office in late 1983.
Simmons said in a telephone interview last month that she did not receive her contracts because of her friendship with Green and she had produced "very serious reports" for the university.
A second consultant on the public works contract was Grace C. Iverson, another Green associate who currently works for the Lansing, Mich., school district as director of research and evaluation.
Iverson had previously been hired by UDC as a consultant to assist Simmons on one of her UDC contracts. Iverson said in a recent interview that Simmons recruited her for both contracts and was "the lead person."
Iverson said she has known Green professionally for years and had worked with him in Michigan. She said she was hired for her expertise. "I wouldn't say Green hired me because I was a crony or a friend," Iverson said.
The Post was unable to learn details about the third consultant hired for the public works contract.
Green also hired two other former associates from Michigan State to serve as consultants on a task force created in 1984 to plan UDC's new Center for Applied Research and Urban Policy. They were paid $2,500 each, according to UDC records.