|Public Release Date: May 8, 1998||No. 98-31|
The Legislature established the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals as the exclusive statewide authority to decide all questions of law and fact in workers' compensation disputes within the court's appellate jurisdiction as provided in Minnesota Statutes 175A and 176. Appeals of this court's decisions may be heard by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The five judges of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the state senate. They serve in full-time positions for a six-year term. The Governor designates a chief judge from among the judges. Steven D. Wheeler was appointed as the chief judge on January 4, 1993.
The court performs the appellate function of reviewing decisions of the Workers' Compensation Division of the Department of Labor and Industry and of the Office of Administrative Hearings. The operations of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals are financed by appropriations from the Special Workers' Compensation Fund.
The objectives of our audit were to gain an understanding of the internal control structure over the accounting and reporting of Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals financial activities and to determine if the court complied with material finance-related legal provisions. The areas covered by our audit were payroll and other administrative expenditures for the period July 1, 1994, through June 30, 1997.
The Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals designed and implemented internal controls to provide reasonable assurance that payroll and administrative expenditures were properly authorized and accurately reported in the accounting records. In addition, for the items tested, the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals expenditures complied with applicable statutory provisions and applicable bargaining agreements. However, the court did not consistently perform an independent verification of the accuracy of its payroll.
The Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals agreed with the finding and indicated in its response that internal procedures have been revised to satisfy the recommendation.