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3 golden objects Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Legislative Auditor - Financial Audit Division

Report Summary

Special Review

State-Paid Per Diems

Fiscal Year 2000

Key Findings and Recommendations:

The existence of three different per diem statutes, each with unique requirements, creates confusion for many boards and committees with public employee members. Some eligibility provisions, such as the definition of what constitutes approved activities when claiming per diem, are subject to interpretation and must be defined by the individual board or committee.

We recommend that the Legislature review the statutory provisions governing per diem payments and consider whether revisions are necessary to provide for a less complex and more uniform process. In addition, the various boards and committees must put a number of administrative procedures in place to ensure compliance with applicable statutory provisions.

As a result of our review of fiscal year 2000 per diems, we identified three state employees who received unallowable per diem payments. In addition, in several cases, we recommended that agencies obtain legal advice and clarification concerning their payment of per diems. We questioned issues such as determining normal work hours, legal authority to pay per diems, and per diem computation methods. We also found that the state has not complied with statutory provisions linking per diem payments to performance of certain administrative requirements.