Department of Employee Relations
Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1999
Key Findings and Recommendations:
- The department did not transfer any portion of the available June 30, 1999, Minnesota Private Employers' Insurance Fund (MEIP) cash balance to the Health Care Access Fund, as directed by state statutes. We recommended that the department should transfer the uncommitted portion of the MEIP's available balance to the Health Care Access Fund and work to resolve any outstanding obligations. (Finding 1, page 3)
- The department did not adequately administer the vacation donation to sick leave program. We noted several concerns including a lack of program procedures, employees that received more hours than were donated, and an overall program deficit of over $1 million which was paid from state agency operating budgets. We recommended that the department implement and enforce a vacation donation policy that complies with Minn. Stat. Section 43A.1815. We also believe the department should consider a funding policy requiring the donor agency to provide financial resources to the agency employing the eligible program recipient. The funding mechanism would lessen the financial burden caused by the additional sick leave costs and replacement staff wages. (Finding 2, page 3)
- A provision in the Minnesota Law Enforcement Association's employment agreement contradicts Minn. Stat. Section 43A.04, Subd. 8. The provision governs the amount of vacation leave an employee can donate to their union representative to carry out union duties. We recommended that the department seek clarification from the Office of the Attorney General on the validity of this bargaining agreement provision. (Finding 3, page 5)
Management letters address internal control weaknesses and noncompliance issues found during our annual audit of the state's financial statements and federally-funded programs. The scope of work in individual agencies is limited. During the fiscal year 1999 audit, our work at the Department of Employee Relations focused on payroll expenditures, public and private insurance programs, and liabilities for employee leave benefits and workers' compensation. The department's response to our recommendations is included in the report.