|Public Release Date: May 22, 1998||No. 98-33|
The Legislature created the Minnesota Office of Strategic and Long Range Planning (Minnesota Planning) in 1991. Prior to that time, the office operated as the State Planning Agency. The mission of Minnesota Planning is to keep Minnesotans focused on the future, to provide policy-makers and the public with accurate information and analysis about emerging and critical issues, and to influence policy decisions for a better future through long-range planning. Under the authority of Minn. Stat. Chapter 4A, the office develops an integrated long-range plan for the state, coordinates planning activities among all levels of government, and stimulates public interest to impact the future of the state. It also acts in coordination with the commissioner of Finance, other state agencies, and the legislature in planning and financing major public programs. Ann Schluter is the current director of the office.
The objectives of our audit were to gain an understanding of the internal control structure over the accounting and reporting of the Minnesota Office of Strategic and Long Range Planning's financial activities and to determine if the office complied with material finance-related legal provisions. The revenue areas covered by our audit included the Land Management Information Center (LMIC), Environmental Quality Board (EQB), and the Children's Initiative programs. In fiscal year 1997, the legislature transferred the children's programs to the Department of Children, Families, and Learning. Administrative expenditure areas reviewed included payroll, rent, purchased services, and supplies.
We concluded that Minnesota Planning designed and implemented internal controls to provide reasonable assurance that it adequately safeguarded and accurately reported its financial activity in the state's accounting system. We also found that Minnesota Planning generally complied with applicable statutory provisions. However, the Environmental Quality Board did not recover indirect costs in its assessments or fees for work performed.
Minnesota Planning agreed with the finding and indicated in its response that it would determine an appropriate rate for indirect cost billings and apply those rates to assessments and studies beginning July 1, 1998.