The Washington State Auditor’s Office continues to search for answers concerning the Zzusis glitch.
The possibility of incorrect financial aid disbursements due to the Zzusis system malfunction attracted the attention of the Auditor’s Office last week. At that time, officials determined they needed to have conversations with WSU administrators to identify the cause of the problems and what they could do to fix it.
WSU spokesman Darin Watkins said the university has identified a specific program as the cause for the system malfunction. Watkins said a bridge program, which communicates with all aspects of the financial aid program in Zzusis, crashed because of the high number of users and vast amount of information submitted at once.
WSU administrators told The Daily Evergreen the problems with Zzusis were fixed by Aug. 21 and the system has been running properly since.
Mindy Chambers, a spokeswoman for the Auditor’s Office, said university administrators told her office that the Zzusis repair is still underway. The office continues to collect information about what occurred to ensure that the system correctly disbursed all funds, Chambers said.
“We haven’t made a determination yet about whether we would do an audit and if so, when we would do an audit,” she said. “We’re collecting information still at this point.”
So far, the Auditor’s Office has learned that a repair team arrived in Pullman this week from Oracle, the hardware and software company that sold Zzusis to the university. But the office cannot collect more information until the Zzusis financial aid system is running properly again, Chambers said.
Watkins said the Auditor’s Office has no interest in the situation with Zzusis because the financial aid system glitch did not compromise the proper amount of financial aid disbursements for each student. The office has conducted no investigation, Watkins said, only conversations with the university.
He disagreed with Chambers’ statement that the Auditor’s Office has not received word about the repair of the glitch.
“That’s not true. That’s not true,” Watkins said, in reaction to Chambers’ assessment of the situation.
Watkins has seen no emails from the Auditor’s Office asking why the problem has not been fixed, he said.
Heather Lopez, the director of the Office of Internal Audit at WSU, is the intermediary between the State Auditor’s Office and the university, Watkins said. Lopez does audits on behalf of the state, he said.
In an email to The Daily Evergreen, Lopez said she could not speak to why the Auditor’s Office believes Zzusis is still in repair.
Lopez said she spoke with officials at the Auditor’s Office on Aug. 23.
The discussion centered on the Zzusis computer system and its effect on the delayed processing and disbursement of financial aid.
She told the office that WSU has complied with all the rules regarding financial aid and that it takes time to ensure everything is processed correctly in the new computer system, Lopez said.
At this time, Lopez said she is not aware of any information the Auditor’s Office is collecting on the situation.
In an email to The Daily Evergreen, President Elson S. Floyd agreed with Lopez. Floyd said administrators have explained the situation to the Auditor’s Office and said no one from the office expressed further interest.
“I am unaware of any further interest in this matter by the State Auditor’s Office,” Floyd said in the email.
Chambers said it would be approximately two weeks before the Auditor’s Office had enough information to make a decision on whether to file an audit.