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3 golden objects Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Legislative Auditor - Financial Audit Division

Report Summary

Financial-Related Audit Report

Public Utilities Commission

July 1, 1997, through December 31, 1999

Key Findings and Recommendations:

  • The commission did not adequately control employee access to its docketing and assessment system used to bill utility companies for regulatory services. The commission assessed utility companies about $4.2 million in fiscal year 1999. We found eight Public Utilities Commission employees with view only access to the system who were either no longer employed by the commission or were temporarily assigned to other agencies. The docketing and assessment system contains proprietary information on utility companies' annual revenues that should be secured from unauthorized access. We recommended that the commission establish procedures to grant and terminate employee access to ensure that only authorized employees have access to the system. The commission should also periodically monitor system access. (Finding 1, page 6)
  • The commission did not have adequate controls in place over telephone assistance plan revenues to ensure that it collects the appropriate amount of receipts based on the number of access lines the telephone companies administer. The commission collected approximately $2.1 million in telephone assistance plan receipts in fiscal year 1999. We recommended that the commission reconcile the number of telephone access lines reported by the Department of Commerce to the access lines reported by the telephone companies and follow-up on any material discrepancies. (Finding 2, page 8)

Other Key Audit Conclusions:

  • The commission's payroll and other administrative expenditures were properly authorized and recorded in the state's accounting system. For the payroll and other administrative expenditure transactions tested, the commission complied with applicable finance-related legal provisions and collective bargaining agreements.

Agency Response:

  • The Public Utilities Commission agreed with the audit findings and recommendations. In its written response, the commission outlined a corrective action plan to resolve the findings.
Office of the Legislative Auditor, Room 140, 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55155 : or 651‑296‑4708