|Public Release Date: September 27, 1996||No. 96-39|
In the late 1980's the Departments of Finance, Administration and Employee Relations determined that the state's primary financial systems needed updating. Beginning in 1991, the departments received legislative funding for the Statewide Systems Project, designed to replace the outdated accounting, procurement, and payroll systems and to develop a new human resource system. The new accounting and procurement systems are collectively referred to as the Minnesota Accounting and Procurement System (MAPS). The name of the new payroll/human resource system is the Minnesota Statewide Employee Management System, or SEMA4.
The focus of our first audit of the new systems was to identify and evaluate the controls that ensure data integrity. For each system, we reviewed security and access controls, reconciliations and other system control procedures, and subsystem interfaces. For MAPS, we also reviewed the conversion of prior year Statewide Accounting System (SWA) balances, updating of general ledger transactions, and appropriation control.
The administering departments found many technical problems with MAPS and SEMA4 after the conversion. Some of these problems made it difficult for state agencies to manage their financial activities. Many of these problems have already been corrected. The correction of the remaining problems will ultimately depend on the availability of resources.
Many users have more clearance to MAPS and its underlying data than they need to complete their job duties. Also, we found problems with some of the Department of Finance's security administration procedures. In addition, the department did not complete important accounting reconciliations, or adjust for known discrepancies, on a timely basis.
The Department of Finance implemented sufficient controls to ensure an accurate and complete transfer of subsystem data to MAPS and designed an effective process to convert SWA accounting records to MAPS. In addition, the department implemented sufficient controls to ensure that transactions are updating the appropriate accounts. However, we found that the Department of Finance does not verify the reasonableness of changes made to estimated receipt amounts that agencies have authority to spend.
Most SEMA4 users only have access to data pertaining to their own agency. However, a large number of users appear to have more clearance than they need to fulfill their job responsibilities. We also found some weaknesses in the Department of Employee Relation's security administration procedures. However, SEMA4 edits and system control reports are sufficient to detect material errors and irregularities in the financial data. In addition, the Departments of Employee Relations and Finance have sufficient controls to ensure an accurate and complete transfer of payroll expenditures to MAPS.