|Financial Audit Division Report 15-03||Released February 23, 2015|
Water is one of Minnesota’s most important natural resources. To help protect the resource, in 2008, voters approved a constitutional amendment to dedicate one-third of an additional sales tax to the Clean Water Fund.1 The constitutional amendment requires that money in this fund be used “To protect, enhance, and restore water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams and to protect groundwater from degradation, and . . . to protect drinking water sources.” The Legislature appropriates money from the Clean Water Fund for specific activities. The two largest recipients of appropriations from the fund are the Board of Water and Soil Resources and the Pollution Control Agency.
This audit examined expenditures from the Clean Water Fund by the Board of Water and Soil Resources and the Pollution Control Agency, during the period from July 2011 through March 2014. The audit focused on whether the board and the agency had adequate internal controls to ensure that they used money from the Clean Water Fund in compliance with purposes described in the state constitution, the appropriation laws, and in compliance with other finance-related legal requirements.
The Board of Water and Soil Resources and the Pollution Control Agency each had generally adequate internal controls and generally complied with most legal requirements applicable to spending money from Clean Water Fund appropriations. However, both the board and the agency had some internal control weaknesses and instances of noncompliance.
1 Minnesota Constitution, art. XI, sec. 15, provides for the distribution of additional dedicated sales tax into four funds; 33 percent to the Clean Water Fund; 33 percent to the Outdoor Heritage Fund; 19.75 percent to the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund; and 14.25 percent to the Parks and Trails Fund.