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3 golden objects Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Legislative Auditor - Financial Audit Division

Report Summary

Financial-Related Audit

Minnesota Supreme Court

July 1, 1997, through June 30, 2001

Current Findings and Recommendations

  • The Supreme Court needs to improve controls over receipts. The court did not adequately safeguard or promptly deposit attorney registration fee receipts, which totaled about $4 million annually. We recommended that the court keep receipts in a secure place and make deposits in a timely manner.
  • The Supreme Court did not document its approval for employees to exceed vacation leave maximums. We recommended that the Supreme Court require employees to reduce their balances to the maximum allowable accrual or document its agreement with the employees it allowed to exceed vacation accrual maximums.
  • The Supreme Court did not complete a physical inventory of fixed assets and did not conduct periodic spot checks to verify their existence and location. Although the court has procedures for adding and deleting items from an automated fixed asset module, without a periodic, complete physical inventory, the court cannot ensure the records are accurate. Without an adequate system of accounting for fixed assets, theft or misuse of fixed assets could go undetected. We recommended that the court complete a physical inventory, conduct periodic spot checks of fixed assets, and update inventory records as appropriate.

Article VI of the Minnesota Constitution established the judicial branch of state government to interpret laws and cases and to ensure that challenged laws do not violate the constitution. The judicial branch has several levels of courts, each with specific jurisdictions that determine the types of cases to be heard. Our audit focused on the District Courts, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court.

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 Supreme Court included attorney registration receipts, payroll, travel, and other administrative expenditures for rent, jury costs, purchased services, supplies, and equipment.

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