|Public Release Date: May 6, 1999||No. 99-25|
The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission operates under Minn. Stat. Section 244.09. The commission consists of 11 members representing both the criminal justice system and the general public. It conducts ongoing research regarding sentencing guidelines and other matters relating to improvement of the criminal justice system. The commission appoints the executive director who is responsible for directing the commission's professional staff in accordance with its policies. Ms. Debra L. Dailey is the current executive director of the commission.
The Sentencing Guidelines Commission finances its operations through General Fund appropriations from the State of Minnesota. The Department of Corrections provides accounting and personnel services to the commission. The commission's appropriations were $369,000, $371,000, and $435,000 for fiscal years 1996, 1997, and 1998, respectively.
Our audit of the Sentencing Guidelines Commission focused on administrative expenditures for payroll, rent, and purchased services from July 1, 1995, to June 30, 1998.
We concluded that the commission accurately paid its employees and properly recorded payroll expenditures. However, we observed some control concerns during our review. The commission did not receive and review key SEMA4 payroll processing reports and allowed excessive access for Department of Corrections staff to update to its accounting and payroll system data.
The commission paid rent and purchased service costs in accordance with contractual agreements and properly recorded these expenditures in the accounting system. For the items tested, the commission complied with applicable legal provisions. However, we found that the commission incurred certain obligations without an executed contract and paid some vendors late.
The Sentencing Guidelines Commission agreed with the findings and recommendations in the audit report. They are working with the Department of Corrections to resolve the issues raised.