The Big Story Blog

Legacy Amendment reports: Key findings

Posted at 12:05 PM on November 30, 2011 by Paul Tosto

The Legislative Auditor just released its reports examining Minnesota's Legacy Amendment funds. One is a general evaluation of how the program's been implemented. The second is a review of internal controls on the spending.

We're working our way through the reports now. Here are the conclusions and key findings of the internal controls report.

The selected internal controls at the organizations we reviewed were generally adequate to ensure that the organizations used money appropriated from Legacy funds for the purposes authorized in the Legacy Amendment and applicable state laws; safeguarded financial resources; accurately paid employees, vendors, and grantees in accordance with managements' authorizations; complied with finance-related legal provisions; and created reliable financial data. For the items tested, the organizations generally complied with significant finance-related legal requirements.

However, the state agencies we reviewed had some internal control weaknesses and instances of noncompliance, as discussed in the report's findings.

Key Findings

The Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency, and Board of Water and Soil Resources did not ensure that certain costs paid with money appropriated from Legacy funds complied with the restricted uses of those funds.

The Pollution Control Agency and Board of Water and Soil Resources made unauthorized advances of Legacy money to grantees.

The Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency, and Board of Water and Soil Resources paid some grantees for costs without ensuring that the costs complied with the restrictions applicable to the uses of Legacy funds

You can find both reports here.

The agencies discussed in the report generally didn't argue with the findings or recommended changes and said some were already being implemented.

MPR News reporter Elizabeth Dunbar will be reporting on the audits and the public hearing on them later today, so stay tuned. Check out her background story on the reports.

Minnesota Public Radio is among 18 public broadcasters receiving arts and culture Legacy money. It has submitted financial reports on the $2.6 million it spent in the first two years to the state Department of Administration.

About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.

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