|Public Release Date: September 4, 1998||No. 98-48|
The Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Minnesota, Laws 1849, Chapter 44, created the Minnesota Historical Society (Society). The Society is an independent, nonprofit corporation. The Society's Executive Council and its officers manage the Society's operations. The Executive Council, composed of 30 members elected for three-year terms, is responsible for establishing major policies and monitoring the quality of the Society's programs and services. The Executive Council appoints a director who serves as the chief administrative officer and has the responsibility of directing the Society's professional staff in accordance with its policies. Ms. Nina Archabal has served as the director of the Minnesota Historical Society since 1987. The Society's financial statements are audited annually by an independent CPA firm.
The Society receives significant support for its operations from the State of Minnesota in the form of state appropriations and grants. For the 1998-99 biennium, the State of Minnesota appropriated $46,791,000 for the general operations of the Society. The Legislature designated $4,092,000 of that appropriation for information technology improvements.
Our audit focused on how the Minnesota Historical Society designed and implemented controls to provide reasonable assurance that it planned and organized its information resources to enhance the mission of the Society, accurately recorded its use of the information technology appropriation in the accounting records in compliance with applicable legal provisions and management's authorizations, and safeguarded the fixed assets purchased from the information technology appropriation.
We found that the Society had controls to provide reasonable assurance that it planned and organized its information resources to enhance the mission of the Society. Except as explained below, we found that the Society accurately recorded the uses of the information technology appropriation in the accounting records in compliance with applicable legal provisions and management's authorizations, and adequately safeguarded the information technology fixed assets. However, we found that the Society did not adequately separate the payroll and personnel functions, and that it paid two employees from the information technology appropriation who did not perform information technology duties.
The Minnesota Historical Society agreed with the findings in the audit report and is taking corrective action.