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3 golden objects Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Legislative Auditor - Financial Audit Division

Report Summary

Financial-Related Audit

Department of Agriculture

Three Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2000

The Department of Agriculture's internal controls provided reasonable assurance that it operated within its available resources and properly authorized and recorded financial activities in the Minnesota Accounting and Procurement System (MAPS). The department effectively structured its accounts on the state's accounting system to allow it to manage its diverse funding from direct and open appropriations and dedicated and nondedicated receipts. However, we noted the following internal control weaknesses and compliance issues during our review.

Key Findings:

  • The department's Grain and Produce Inspection Division should improve controls over amounts billed and the collection of receipts. Supervisors did not review and authorize all supplemental charges, and certain other charges were not billed. Increased control was recommended for monies remotely collected by field inspectors. Also, improved coordination is needed between the division's invoicing function and maintenance of account receivable balances by the central office.
  • The department needs to improve its process for monitoring and submitting old, uncollected accounts receivable to the Minnesota Collection Enterprise in compliance with Minn. Stat. Section 16D.04.
  • The department needs to improve input controls over payroll processing by requiring an independent review of the SEMA4 payroll register. Internal control concerns were specifically noted in the Grain and Produce Inspection Division. We noted examples where timesheets lacked supervisory approvals, hours worked and leave taken were not correctly input into the payroll system, and labor charges were incorrectly distributed between metro and non-metro accounts.

Financial-Related Audit Reports address internal control weaknesses and noncompliance issues noted during our audits of state departments and agencies. The scope of our audit work at the Department of Agriculture included overall financial management, dairy, grain, and pesticide receipts, and payroll costs. This has not been a comprehensive audit of all of the Department of Agriculture's financial activities.

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