|Public Release Date: November 10, 1999||No. 99-58|
The Chicano Latino Affairs Council was created by the Legislature in 1978. The council is responsible for promoting the social, economic, and political development of Minnesota's Chicano/Latino community. The council consists of eleven members appointed by the Governor.
We have conducted a financial-related audit of the Chicano Latino Affairs Council for the period from July 1, 1995, through June 30, 1999. Our audit scope included revenues, travel, per diem, payroll, professional/technical services, and other administrative expenditures. The council has a small staff and suffered from a lack of continuity throughout the audit period. We found numerous violations of state laws and policies during our audit of the council. The council overspent its fiscal year 1999 operating appropriation by $3,568. An employee received an unfair benefit of $3,080 by hiring her husband as a council vendor. The council inappropriately paid per diems to council members who were ineligible and whose terms had expired. The council overpaid its members for a variety of other costs, including excessive mileage and a duplicate payment. These overpayments totaled $7,800. We also believe that the council did not adequately fulfill a grant contract.
The council did not comply with state policies when purchasing goods and services. The council allowed its employees to use cellular telephones for personal use. The council exceeded its local purchasing authority limits, did not have the council chair approve all contracts, prepaid council expenses, and did not comply with the state's prompt payment law. Finally, the council paid for some costs not allowed by state purchasing guidelines.
The council appointed a new permanent executive director on August 4, 1999. In the response to the audit report, the new executive director agreed with the audit findings and is taking corrective action to resolve the issues.