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UDITORINNESOTAFinancialRelated Audit


7 2002 02-38 O Financial Audit DivisionThe Office of the Legislative Auditor OLAis a professional nonpartisan office in thelegislative branch of Minnesota Stategovernment Its principal responsibilit

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1 UDITORINNESOTAFinancial-Related Audit 7,
UDITORINNESOTAFinancial-Related Audit 7, 2002 02-38 O Financial Audit DivisionThe Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA)is a professional, nonpartisan office in thelegislative branch of Minnesota Stategovernment. Its principal responsibility isto audit and evaluate the agencies andprograms of state government (the StateAuditor audits local governments).OLA’s Financial Audit Division annuallyaudits the state’s financial statements and, ona rotating schedule, audits agencies in theexecutive and judicial branches of stategovernment, three metropolitan agencies,and several “semi-state” organizations. Thedivision also investigates allegations thatstate resources have been usedinappropriately.The division has a staff of approximatelyfifty auditors, most of whom are CPAs. Thedivision conducts audits in accordance withstandards established by the AmericanInstitute of Certified Public Accountants andthe Comptroller General of the United States.Consistent with OLA’s mission, the FinancialAudit Division works to:· Promote Accountability,· Strengthen Leg

2 islative Oversight, and· Support Good F
islative Oversight, and· Support Good Financial Management.Through its Program Evaluation Division,OLA conducts several evaluations each yearand one best practices review.OLA is under the direction of the LegislativeAuditor, who is appointed for a six-yearterm by the Legislative Audit Commission(LAC). The LAC is a bipartisan commissionof Representatives and Senators. It annuallyselects topics for the Program EvaluationDivision, but is generally not involved inscheduling financial audits.All findings, conclusions, andrecommendations in reports issued by theOffice of the Legislative Auditor are solelythe responsibility of the office and may notreflect the views of the LAC, its individualmembers, or other members of theMinnesota Legislature. This document can be made available inalternative formats, such as large print,Braille, or audio tape, by calling 651-296-1727(voice), or the Minnesota Relay Service at651-297-5353 or 1-800-627-3529.All OLA reports are available at our WebSite: http://www.auditor.leg.state.mn.us If you have comments about our work, oryou want to suggest

3 an audit, investigation,evaluation, or
an audit, investigation,evaluation, or best practices review, pleasecontact us at 651-296-4708 or by e-mail atauditor@state.mn.us FFICE OF THE EGISLATIVE James Nobles, Legislative Auditor Legislative Audit Commission Members of the Legislative Audit Commission James H. McCormick, Chancellor Members of the Minnesota State CollegesNortheast Higher Education District Northeast Service Unit nd Universities Northeast Service Unit for the other administrative expenditures. We highlight the audit objectives We conducted our audit in accordance with Comptroller General of the United States. Those standards require that we obtain an understanding of management controce that the Northeast Service Unit complied with ficant to the audit. Northeast Service Unit management is responsible for establishing and maintaining structure and complying withThis report is intended for the informamanagement of the Northeast Service Unit, and members of the Minnesota State Colleges and intended to limit the distribution of this report, which was released as a public document on June 7,

4 2002. /s/ James R. Nobles /s/ Claudi
2002. /s/ James R. Nobles /s/ Claudia J. Gudvangen James R. Nobles Claudia J. Gudvangen, CPA Legislative Auditor Deput O Room 140, 658 Cedar Street, St. Paul, Minnesota 55155-1603 Tel: 651/296-4708 Fax: 651/296-4712 E-mail: auditor@state.mn.us TDD Relay: 651/297-5353 Website: www.auditor.leg.state.mn.us Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Northeast Service Unit Table of Contents Report Summary 1 Chapter 1. Introduction 2 Chapter 2. Revenues 3 Chapter 3. Payroll and Other Administrative Expenditures 5 Status of Prior Audit Issues 8 Northeast Service Unit Response 9 The following members of the Office of the Claudia Gudvangen, CPA Deputy Legislative Auditor Cecile Ferkul, CPA, CISA Audit Manager Carl Otto, CPA, CISA Auditor-In-Charge Patrick Phillips, CPA Auditor We discussed the finding and recommendations with the following representatives of Northeast Office of the Chancellor: Laura King Vice Chancellor/Chief Financial Officer Margaret Jenniges Director, Financial Reporting John Asmussen Executive Director, Inter

5 nal Auditing Kim McLaughlin Regional Aud
nal Auditing Kim McLaughlin Regional Audit Coordinator Jim Schneider Director, Campus Accounting Northeast Service Unit: Joe Sertich President, Northeast Higher Education Tony Bartovich Director of Budget and Finance, Mesabi Range Community and Technical College Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Northeast Service Unit 8 As of March 22, 2002 Most Recent Audits College Audit Legislative Audit Report 99-50 , issued in September 1999, covered the former Arrowhead Community College Region and the Northeast Service Unit (NESU) for the three fiscal years e fee revenue, employee payroll, and other administrative expenditures. The report containeloan receivables on MnSCU accounting. NESU implemented our recommendation and now the MnSCU accounting system. CPA firm, to audit the MnSCUatements and to report on its internal controls and compliance for its major federal programs. MnSCU received an 01. As a part of the audit, the firm issued a management administrative, and operating matters. The comments did not specifically mention MnSCUs Northeast Service Un

6 it. State of Minnesota Audit Follow-Up P
it. State of Minnesota Audit Follow-Up Process The Department of Finance, on behalf of the Governor, maintains a quarterly process for following up on issues cited in financial audit reports issued by the Legislative Auditor. However, Finance has delegated this responsibility for audits of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) to the MnSCU Office of Internal Auditing. MnSCU's Office of Internal Auditing process consists of quarterly activity reports documenting the status of audit findings. The follow-up process continues until the Office of Internal Auditing is satisfied that the issues have been resolved. it has sufficient funds in the accounting system before incurring an obligation. NESU also paid a vendor $1,000 more than the $8,000 contract amount. NESU paid the vendor $9,000 in four payments: three $1,800 payments and a final payment of $3,600. Neither NESU nor the program director was monitoring the total amount of payments made Commissioners Plan. The vendorstravel expenses. Before making payments NESU should ensure that total paymen

7 ts do not exceed the contract amount and
ts do not exceed the contract amount and that ves procurement and purchasing process by prohibiting staff from incurring ob County, and Municipal Employees, the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, and the Middle Management AssociNESU employees. NESU spent approximately $160,000 for purchasedstitutional research, the online library database, regional customized training, anorders and made payments for the Upward Bound Program based on the approval of the grant administrative expenditures on the following objectives: Did NESU design and implement internal controble assurance that it accurately recorded payroll and other adminirecords, and that it complied with applicable legal provisions and managements authorization? comply, in all material respects, with significant finance-and other administrative expenditures? nding of the payroll and other administrative expenditure procedures. We performed analytical procedures for administrative expenditures to the audit period. We also reviewed a sample of expenditure transactions to determinand recorded transactions in

8 compliance with material finance-relate
compliance with material finance-relateNortheast Service Units internal controls provided reasonable assurance that it accurately recorded payroll and other administrative expendcomplied with applicable legal provisions and management's authorization. However, as discussed in Finding 1, NESU had some inadequate controls over procurement practices and monitoring of contract payments. 1. NESU had some inadequate controls over procurement practices and monitoring of contract payments. requisition or purchase order. For example, Upward Bound staff submitted a requisition in July 1999 for student meals for its two summer programs. However, the first summer program was during June 1999. Program directors should submit purchase requisitions to NESU before Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Northeast Service Unit 5 Chapter 3. Payroll and Other Administrative Expenditures Northeast Service Units internal controls provided reasonable assurance that it accurately recorded payroll and administrative expenditures in the accounting management's authorization. However,

9 The Northeast Service Units (NESU) adm
The Northeast Service Units (NESU) administtotaled approximately $706,000 during fiscal year 2001. Payroll was the largest administrative etotaling approximately $546,000. Other administrativeservices, consultant/contract services, student activities, and supplies. Table 3-1 summarizes NESUs payroll and other administrative Northeast Service Unit Northeast Northeast Alliance Telecommunications Upward Employee Salaries and Fringe Benefits $189,624 $191,166$165,400 Salary Related Expenses 15,225 302513 Purchased Services 7,545 02,981 Consultant/Contract Services 2,312 1,8804,097 Supplies 7,760 30022,553 Travel 9,996 6,3493,946 Financial Aid 0 013,571 Indirect Costs 0 015,450 Student Activity Expenses 1,631 036,565 Other 2,677 0 4,533 Total Expenditures $236,770 $199,997 $269,609 Source: Minnesota Accounting and Procurement System and the MnSCU accounting system. NESUs staff has declined from ten employees in und employees are paid through NESU. NESU employees belong to various compensation plans, including the American Federat

10 ion of State, process and the basis use
ion of State, process and the basis used to establish campus We also performed analytical procedures to determine and evaluaThe Northeast Service Units internal controls provided reasonable assurance that it collected and accurately recorded campus sucharged the colleges for services rendered. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Northeast Service Unit 3 Chapter 2. Revenues The Northeast Service Units internal coed campus support service fees in the accounting records. NESU properly charged the colleges for services rendered. provided. The director developethe services used and estimated student enrollment data. NESU billed the colleges 75 percent of calculated the final bill using final enrollment Campus Support Service Fees Fees Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College $ 18,335 Hibbing Community and Technical College 21,948 Northeast Higher Education District: Itasca Community College 20,896 Mesabi Range Community and Technical College 22,617 Rainy River Community College 17,028 Vermilion Community College 19,485 Total $120,309 Source:

11 MnSCU accounting system. Did NESUs i
MnSCU accounting system. Did NESUs internal controls provide reasonable assurance that it collected and ccounting records? lleges for services rendered? Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Northeast Service Unit 2 Chapter 1. Introduction es Northeast Service Unit (NESU) provides tern Minnesota. NESU began in 1981 when the College Board) consolidated certain management functions for community colleges in human resources, purchasing, centralized maintenance supervision, and grant management services. When the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system bemany community and technical colleges in norexecutive positions in the Arrowhead Region. The MnSCU board did recommend, however, that NESU continue to provide some support services to the northeastern colleges. Ms. Sally Thompson has been the director of NESUthe colleges NESU serves. The scope of servicesrecent years. NESU currently provides institutional research, maintains a database of library materials, and administers grant programs and otNortheast Higher Education District: Mesabi Ran

12 ge Community and Technicalge (Internatio
ge Community and Technicalge (International Falls) Vermilion Community College (Ely) NESU administered a $250,000 Operating and rtheast Alliance for Telecommunications (NEAT), which is a consortium of northeastern Minnesota higher education institutions formed to develop tion. NEAT received grants from the r Education Telecommunications Council. NESU also administered the Upward Bound Program. Upward Bound conducts a six-week summer academic residential session that offers pre-collegiate programs, emphasizing math, component. Upward Bound received federal Bound employees in its Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Northeast Service Unit 1 Report Summary Northeast Service Unit (NESU) collected and accurately recorded campus support servicproperly charged the colleges for services rendered. NESU also accurately recorded payroll and administrative expenditures in s and complied with isions and management's authorization, except as noted below. NESU had inadequate controls over procurement practices and monitoring of contract payments. Some vendors provided se

13 rvices before the prepaccounting system
rvices before the prepaccounting system before incurring an obligation.the $8,000 contract amount. Neither NESU nor the program director was monitoring the total amount of payments made against NESU improve control over its procurement and purchasing process by prohibiting staff from incurring obligations before an encumbrance of funds in the accounting system. We also recommended that NESU monitor payments to ensure that they do not exceed contract amounts and that vendors comply Northeast Service Unit provides administrative services to Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Hibbing Community and Technical include institutional research, a database of library materials, and grant administration. This administrative expenditures for the period from July 1, 1998, through June 30, 2001. NESUs response is included in the report. NORTHEAST SERVICE UNIT 1001 Chestnut Street West Virginia, MN 55792 Voice: (218) 748-2418 ∙ Fax: (218) 748-2417 May 15, 2002 Mr. James R. Nobles Legislative Auditor 100 Centennial Office Building 658 Cedar Street St. Paul, MN