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3 golden objects Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Legislative Auditor - Financial Audit Division

Report Summary
Department of Public Safety

Selected Programs

Fiscal Year 1996 Statewide Audit


Public Release Date: January 3, 1997 No. 97-01


The Department of Public Safety administers and enforces laws relating to drivers, vehicles, traffic, liquor sales, drug abuse prevention, gambling, natural and man-made disasters, criminal activities, and fire risks. The Department of Public Safety's net revenues, as shown on the state's accounting system for fiscal year 1996, totaled $928 million. Deputy registrars (170 statewide offices) collected approximately 83 percent of these receipts. Donald Davis is the current commissioner of the department. Commissioner Davis was appointed to his position on April 22, 1996, when he replaced the prior commissioner, Michael Jordon.

Selected Audit Areas and Conclusions

The audit focused on selected programs administered by the Department of Public Safety for the year ended June 30, 1996. Our audit scope was limited to those areas material to the state of Minnesota's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 1996. The areas audited included the motor vehicle sales tax system ($380.7 million) and the registration tax system ($449.7 million).

We concluded that the Department of Public Safety's sales tax and registration tax revenues are presented fairly on the state of Minnesota's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 1996. We also concluded that the Department of Public Safety complied with material state laws and regulations related to these revenue systems.

We found that the internal controls over these revenues were generally adequate, however, the department needs to work with the Department of Finance and the Office of the State Treasurer to reduce the number of days that deputy registrars' receipts remain in state depositories before being transferred into the State Treasury. In addition, as first noted in prior audits, the department still needs to improve computer access controls and retain electronic data entered onto the Motor Vehicle System. Finally, the department has not completed a disaster recovery plan.


Office of the Legislative Auditor, Room 140, 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55155 : or 651‑296‑4708