|Public Release Date: October 13, 1995||No. 95-43|
The Department of Agriculture is primarily a regulatory agency. The department operates under Minn. Stat. Chapters 17-34 and 40-42, and administers programs which promote agriculture, the family farm, and conservation practices. It encourages the development of agricultural industries through market development, both nationally and internationally. The department's commissioner is appointed by the Governor. Elton R. Redalen served as commissioner from January 10, 1991 to June 30, 1995. The department currently is headed by Gene Hugoson, appointed July 1, 1995.
Activities of the department are financed mainly by appropriations from the General Fund and departmental revenue consisting primarily of license, registration, and service fees.
Our audit scope included a review of appropriations and cost allocation system for the period from July 1, 1991 through June 30, 1994. We found three problems with the department's appropriation controls: improperly funding the construction of the Seed Potato Inspection Facility, overspending its appropriation by the Grain Division , and not transferring matching federal grant amounts to reimburse state accounts.
The lack of an adequate payroll cost allocation system and the inefficient use of cost accounting systems also created problems for the department in controlling its appropriations and grants.