Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor
Financial Audit Division

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Department of Agriculture, including the
Rural Finance Authority
Internal Controls and Compliance Audit

 

Financial Audit Division Report 16-01 Released January 28, 2016

The Department of Agriculture serves as the state’s major agricultural regulatory and promotional agency. The department provides a diverse range of services to Minnesota farmers, consumers, and the agricultural community, including education, licensing and inspections, grants, and loans.

The Rural Finance Authority is a separate, public body whose purpose is to make credit available to farmers. The Department of Agriculture administers the authority’s financial activity, including its loan programs.

We examined the department’s internal controls over its financial operations and its compliance with finance-related legal requirements during the period from July 2012 through March 2015. Our review included revenue from various license, registration, and inspection fees and expenses related to payroll and employee business expense reimbursements. In addition, we reviewed financial activities related to the department’s and the Rural Finance Authority’s loan programs.

Conclusion

The Department of Agriculture’s internal controls were generally adequate and, for the items we tested, generally complied with significant finance-related legal requirements; however, the department had some weaknesses in receipts and payroll.

Findings

  • The Department of Agriculture undercharged registrants of nonagricultural pesticides for annual registration fees.
  • The Department of Agriculture did not adequately monitor and review timesheet data recorded by employees in the state’s payroll system.
More Information

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