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3 golden objects Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Legislative Auditor - Financial Audit Division

Report Summary

Financial-Related Audit

Ombudsman for Corrections

Three Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2000

The Ombudsman for Corrections is an independent agency created in 1972 to investigate complaints lodged by inmates, staff, and other interested parties. During the 1999 Legislative Session, the agency received state appropriation funding cuts and experienced the loss of several staff. The funding reductions and staff layoffs have affected the investigative and administration functions. Effective July 2000, financial and administrative functions were transferred to the Department of Finance. Currently, the agency employs the Ombudsman and two senior investigators.

Internal controls over payroll and travel costs were adequate until a change in administrative duties in July 2000. For items tested, the agency properly compensated its employees and reimbursed their travel expenses. However, we were unable to reach internal control and compliance conclusions on administrative expenditures due to a large number of missing vendor payment files.

Key Findings:

  • The Ombudsman for Corrections no longer receives a key biweekly SEMA4 payroll control report and did not delete security access for staff who have left employment.
  • The agency could not locate documentation for several disbursements selected for audit examination.]
  • The agency did not safeguard its equipment by updating the fixed asset records and performing a periodic physical inventory.

Financial-Related Audit Reports address internal control weaknesses and noncompliance issues found during our audits of state departments and agencies. The scope of our audit work focused on payroll, travel, and administrative expenditure activities for the period from July 1, 1997, through June 30, 2000.

Office of the Legislative Auditor, Room 140, 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55155 : or 651‑296‑4708