Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor
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Report Summary
State Grant Agreements with Community Action Agencies
Internal Controls and Compliance Audit

 

Financial Audit Division Report 15-16 Released December 18, 2015

In fiscal years 2013, 2014, and 2015 (through February 2015), seven state agencies provided grants to Minnesota’s 26 community action agencies totaling approximately $235 million.

In the fall of 2014, the departments of Human Services and Commerce terminated grant funding to Community Action Minneapolis after an internal audit report issued by the Department of Human Services found that the community action agency had inappropriately used grant funds received from the state.1

In response, the Office of the Legislative Auditor decided to conduct a general review of state oversight of grants provided to community action agencies.

Because of the audit conducted by the Department of Human Services and other on-going investigations and legal action, our review did not include any work at Community Action Minneapolis.

Conclusion

The departments of Commerce, Education, Employment and Economic Development, Human Services, Transportation, and the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board generally complied with state grant policies. However, we found some areas of noncompliance.

The departments of Commerce, Education, Employment and Economic Development, Human Services, Transportation, and Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board had generally adequate grant oversight controls to ensure they reimbursed community action agencies only for allowable grant expenditures. However, we found some controls in certain departments that should be improved.

For the items we tested, the community action agencies we reviewed generally complied with state grant agreements and appropriately used the state grant funding provided to them. Our testing did not include on-site work at Community Action Minneapolis.

Audit Findings

  • The Department of Human Services and the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board did not adequately monitor some grant recipients.
  • The Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Workforce Development Division did not comply with the state grant policy requiring justification for advancing grant money.
  • The Department of Commerce did not have adequate controls to ensure that staff appropriately corrected errors detected through its oversight of community action agencies.
  • The Department of Corrections inappropriately recorded $488,800 of loans to one community action agency as grants in the state’s accounting system.

1 Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin took over client eligibility and some other program services originally provided by Community Action Minneapolis.

More Information

Office of the Legislative Auditor ♦ Room 140, 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55155