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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 1997 Statewide Audit


Public Release Date: February 27, 1998 No. 98-10


The Department of Public Safety administers and enforces laws relating to drivers, vehicles, traffic, liquor sales, gambling, natural and man-made disasters, criminal activities, and fire risks. The Department of Public Safety's net revenues and expenditures, as shown on the state's accounting system for fiscal year 1997, totaled $1 billion and $234 million, respectively. The department’s current commissioner, Donald Davis, was appointed on April 22, 1996.

Selected Audit Areas and Conclusions

The audit focused on selected programs administered by the Department of Public Safety for the year ended June 30, 1997. Our audit scope was limited to two revenue programs and a federal program material to Minnesota's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 1997, and to the requirements of the Single Audit Act. The audited programs included the motor vehicle sales tax system ($401 million), the registration tax system ($485 million), and the Federal Disaster Assistance Program ($64 million).

We concluded that the department’s motor vehicle sales tax and registration tax revenues were presented fairly for the purpose of the State of Minnesota's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 1997. We also concluded that for the items tested, the Department of Public Safety complied with material state laws and regulations related to these revenue systems. However, we identified some internal control and computer system security weaknesses. As a result of inadequate controls, the Prorate Office overpaid $127,000 of interstate registration taxes.

We also reviewed material compliance requirements related to the Federal Disaster Assistance Program under the Single Audit Act. We concluded that the department had properly accounted for expenditures under this program and had materially complied with most of its requirements. However, we found that the department needs to improve its cash management practices, review subrecipient documentation more timely, and submit required reports to the federal government.

In its written response, the Department of Public Safety agreed with the audit report. The response indicated that the department has already taken corrective action on several of the report's recommendations. The department stated that some of the computer related issues, such as a disaster recovery plan, will be resolved within 18 months.


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