|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.
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.