Minnesota Department of Health audit finds general compliance, with some issues

A new report out Wednesday from the Business of the Legislative Auditor discovered that the condition wellness office “generally had suitable inner controls to guarantee compliance” with lawful specifications relevant to COVID-19 grants. 

Having said that, the business said the Minnesota Section of Overall health did tumble shorter in some regions, like documentation. The report found MDH “did not comply” with state demands to document and keep conflict of interest disclosures. It also did not normally document how it evaluated grant apps, or how it complied with point out requirements when awarding grants. 

MDH has disputed some of these issues, stating that they did provide documentation, just not always in the way that OLA required. In component simply because it was the early times of the pandemic and the workplace was attempting to speedily move to online perform. 

“We ended up practically likely overnight from business office-centered operate to remote do the job, everything relocating to electronic documentation instantaneously,” stated condition Health and fitness Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “There was documentation, just probably not in the variety that they would have appreciated to see it.” 

For case in point, in a created response to problems all over documenting how MDH evaluated apps, Malcolm mentioned: “Each layer of evaluate was documented and manufactured offered to your personnel. Your business appears to have been on the lookout for documentation in a single form. If the division had tried out to doc all choices in a one type, it would have obfuscated the department’s a number of levels of assessment and noticeably delayed the critique course of action.”

Regardless of that, Malcolm reported the section has now enhanced their documentation treatments as they’ve ongoing to do the job in a distant natural environment.

Other issues highlighted in the report relate to monetary reconciliations and accumulating innovative cash unspent by the grantee. 

Malcolm stated they’re actively operating on fiscal reconciliation for individuals grants and will then acquire the unspent resources, and that they are “in compliance with the grant deal and with state regulation.” MDH expects this get the job done to be done by the stop of Oct. 

“I assume the key findings of the report — their direct sentence there — is that they identified no proof that any grant bucks have been misspent or awarded inappropriately all through a extremely chaotic position in time,” Malcolm said. “And I assume it can be a actually solid and good obtaining in that regard that the auditor uncovered that we do have internal controls, and we did comply with authorized specifications.”

By Percy