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3 golden objects Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Legislative Auditor - Financial Audit Division

Report Summary

Management Letter

Department of Children, Families & Learning

Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2001

Key Findings and Recommendations

  • The Department of Children Families and Learning (CFL) did not comply with some federal cash management provisions. We recommended that the department time its draws of federal funds to minimize the time that it or its subgrantees hold federal funds prior to program expenditures and the time that it uses state funds to cover federal program expenditures.
  • CFL did not return unexpended Nutrition Cluster funds to the federal government or properly report expenditures. We recommended that CFL continue to work with the federal government to determine the proper disposition of returned Nutrition Cluster funds and prior year financial status reports. CFL should also report actual expenditures to the federal government on the quarterly financial status reports for the Nutrition Cluster.
  • CFL has no backup for the employee who maintains some critical information systems. We recommended that CFL provide cross training for the maintenance of the state and federal school district and county payment systems.
  • A CFL employee inappropriately contracted with a relative resulting in violations of statutes and state contracting policies. We recommended that CFL ensure that employees are aware of their responsibilities under the state code of ethics and the department's policy prohibiting contracts with relatives. CFL should also not authorize contract work to begin until the contract is fully executed. In addition, CFL should ensure employees comply with the department's annual plan policy and refrain from acquiring support staff and management consulting services with an annual plan contract. Finally, CFL should revise its annual plan contract document to include standard contract provisions.
  • CFL could not support its compliance with matching and earmarking requirements of the Learn & Serve and Byrd Scholarship federal grant programs and had errors in its annual report to the federal government for the Byrd Scholarship Program. We recommended that CFL maintain support to show that it met the matching and earmarking requirements of the Learn & Serve Program and that it complied with Byrd Scholarship requirements to distribute funds to continuing students before it awards new scholarships. CFL should also ensure that it accurately reports data on the Byrd Scholarship's annual performance report, and should maintain documentation to support reported amounts.
  • CFL did not timely submit financial status reports for the federal AmeriCorps Program. We recommended that CFL timely submit AmeriCorps program financial status reports.

Management letters address internal control weaknesses and noncompliance issues found during our annual audit of the state's financial statements and federally funded programs. The scope of our work in individual agencies is limited. During the fiscal year 2001 audit, our work at the department of Children, Families and Learning included an audit of various state and federal school aids, and the Maximum Effort School Loan Fund.

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