|Public Release Date: July 29, 1999||No. 99-41|
The Automobile Theft Prevention Board was established July 1, 1996, pursuant to Minn. Stat. Section 168A.40. The board is responsible for developing and sponsoring the implementation of statewide plans, programs, and strategies to combat automobile theft. The board consists of seven members appointed by the Governor and includes representatives of law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys, the Department of Public Safety, automobile insurers, and the public. The board receives annual state appropriations from a surcharge on automobile insurance premiums.
Our audit scope included insurance surcharge revenues, automobile theft prevention grants, employee payroll, and other administrative expenditures for the period July 1, 1996, through December 31, 1998.
We concluded that the Automobile Theft Prevention Board did not establish its administrative structure to properly conduct its financial activities. The board chair also served as its executive director and the investigator of automobile theft cases. We do not believe that the board exercised proper financial oversight of its activities by concentrating the administrative and program duties solely within one individual. In addition, the board did not establish a clear, formal arrangement with the Department of Public Safety concerning financial responsibilities.
We found that the board accurately recorded its grant expenditures on the state's accounting system. However, the board did not have a process to ensure that it did not create potential conflicts of interest for its members. In addition, the board did not have adequate control when issuing warrants to local organizations.
We concluded that the board appropriately accounted for insurance surcharge revenues. Finally, the board properly recorded payroll and administrative expenditures on the state's accounting system and complied with material finance-related legal provisions for the items tested.
The board generally agreed with the recommendations in this report and has taken corrective action on several of the issues.