|Public Release Date: September 17, 1997||No. 97-52|
The Office of the Ombudsman for Mental Health and Mental Retardation has a broad mandate to "promote the highest attainable standards of treatment, competence, efficiency, and justice for all people receiving care and treatment for mental illness, mental retardation, chemical dependency, or emotional disturbance." The office consists of a central office in St. Paul and regional offices located in each of the state regional treatment centers. The office's operations are financed though General Fund appropriations. The fiscal year 1996 and 1997 appropriations were each approximately $1 million. Roberta Opheim was the Ombudsman during the audit period.
Our audit scope included payroll expenditures and other administrative expenditures for the period from July 1, 1995, through June 30, 1997.
We concluded that, in all material respects, the office accurately reported payroll and other administrative expenditures in the accounting records and complied with applicable legal provisions and management's authorization. However, we noted certain separation of duties issues resulting from the office's small staff. The office did not adequately separate duties both in the payroll and personnel function and in the purchasing and disbursing function. We also found that the office did not justify compensatory time earned by certain employees, as required by the applicable bargaining agreements.
The office has agreed to implement changes to address the issues included in the report. The response details action plans for each of the report's findings.