|Public Release Date: September 6, 1996||No. 96-36|
The Department of Public Service (department) is chiefly responsible for enforcing state laws and policies governing public utilities, the conservation of energy, and the standardization of weights and measures. The department is organized into four divisions: Telecommunications, Weights and Measures, Energy, and Information and Operations Management. Kris Sanda has served as the commissioner of the department since January 1991.
We audited the following financial activities of the department for the three years ended June 30, 1995: telephone and utility assessments, inspection fees, employee payroll and other administrative expenditures, and federal grants. Our audit objectives included reviewing internal controls over material financial activities of the department and determining compliance with significant laws and regulations.
The department appropriately set and collected fees for services performed, except that it has not fully recovered the costs of the Weights and Measures Division as required by Minn. Stat. Section 239.101. Additionally, the department needs to bill telephone and utility companies more frequently. Currently, it only bills direct expenses semi-annually. The department adequately safeguarded and properly recorded receipts in the statewide accounting system. However, the department needs to restrict computer programmers access to the assessment database.
The department processed payroll and administrative disbursements in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. These expenditures were made for a proper purpose and were accurately recorded in the statewide accounting system.
The department administered federal grant expenditures in accordance with applicable regulations. The department has met all reporting, matching, and subrecipient monitoring requirements associated with the federal grants it received.