|Public Release Date: August 26, 1999||No. 99-44|
The Department of Public Safety was established on July 1, 1970, pursuant to Minn. Stat. Chapter 299A. According to its mission statement, the purpose of the Department of Public Safety is to "protect the people and property in Minnesota through prevention, regulation, enforcement, information, and service." Donald Davis served as commissioner of the department until January 1999. Charlie Weaver serves as the current commissioner.
We have conducted a financial related audit of selected activities of the Department of Public Safety for the period from July 1, 1995, through June 30, 1998. Our audit scope included appropriations, payroll, selected administrative expenditures, and the Criminal Gang Strike Force.
The Department of Public Safety designed and implemented internal controls to provide reasonable assurance that appropriations were allocated in accordance with Minnesota statutes and appropriation laws. However, the department exceeded its appropriation authority by incurring obligations that exceeded available funds in fiscal years 1997 through 1999. The department owes the Office of the Attorney General an estimated $2.5 million in fees for legal services for these years.
The Department of Public Safety properly administered and recorded payroll and other expenditures. However, we found that the department did not have a formal policy regarding the liquidation of state highway patrol compensatory overtime balances upon promotion. In addition, the department did not separate the duties of inputting payroll transactions into the state's payroll system and verifying the accuracy of payroll transactions. We also found that the department did not adequately control and account for fixed assets. Finally, the Criminal Gang Strike Force did not have a policy for conflict of interest, and grantees were not submitting reimbursement requests in a timely manner.
In its response, the Department of Public Safety agreed with the report's findings and is taking correction actions to resolve the issues.