DEPARTMENT OF AGRICLUTURE
COMPLIANCE AUDITAND SUPPLEMENTARY FINANCIAL INFORMATION
For the Two Years Ended:
Summary of Findings:
Total this audit
State of Illinois
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ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
ILLINOIS STATE FAIR
For The Two Years Ended September 30, 1999
|REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE STATISTICS||
During Audit Period: Ms. Becky Doyle (10/1/88 -
1/18/99), Mr. Joseph Hampton (1/19/99 - 9/30/99)
An estimated $1.3 million in Fair-related expenditures was excluded from the Statement of Revenues and Expenditures
An invoice for $7,860 was paid from the wrong Fiscal Year appropriation
The Fair unnecessarily incurred ticket collection costs on behalf of the auto racing
No fees were collected and no contract was in effect for a vendor who sold feed and bedding materials
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND
REPORTING OF ILLINOIS STATE FAIR EXPENDITURES
The Comparative Statement of Revenues and Expenditures for the Illinois State Fair does not include all significant Fair-related expenditures. Most Fair costs are paid from the State Fair Fund and direct Fair-related appropriations. However, an estimated $1.3 million in expenditures which were not directly appropriated or readily identifiable as expenditures of the State Fair were excluded from the Statement of Revenues and Expenditures. These estimated Fair-related costs were from the Springfield Buildings and Grounds appropriation, which is also used for non-fair activities, general upkeep and maintenance of the fairgrounds and for the Departments main office building located on the fairgrounds. The Department developed a methodology to estimate Fair-related costs from this appropriation ($1,276,243) but did not identify the actual expenditures. (Finding 1, pages 9-10)
We recommended the Department maintain actual expenditure detail for the State Fair and other components of the Buildings and Grounds appropriation to ensure accurate reporting and accounting.
Department officials accepted our recommendation and stated beginning in FY2001, they will maintain detailed expenditure records for the State Fair and other components of the Buildings and Grounds appropriation.
PAYMENT MADE FROM WRONG YEARS APPROPRIATION
The Fair paid an invoice for $7,860 from Fiscal Year 2000 appropriations for services rendered during Fiscal Year 1999. The Fairs Pari-Mutual contractor did not receive the 1998 satellite billing until 1999. The Fair reimbursed the contractor for the billing in October 1999 and charged the expenditure to the Fiscal Year 2000 appropriation. Recourse for payment when the time limit has expired may be had only through the Illinois Court of Claims. (Finding 6, page 15)
We recommended the Fair not make payments for services for which appropriations have lapsed.
Department officials accepted our recommendation and stated the payment was inadvertent and that it will inform the contractor of the time limits for submitting requests for payment.
INAPPROPRIATE COLLECTION OF MONEY FOR LESSEE
The lease agreement with the auto racing contractor provided only that the Fair was responsible for providing ticket booths for the contractor. However, the Fair collected ticket admission fees for the auto races thus unnecessarily incurring costs for Fair personnel, credit card fees and losses on bad checks because auto ticket proceeds were commingled with other Fair revenues. Further, the Fairs ticket contractor sold tickets for auto races, the fees of which were also absorbed by the Fair instead of the auto racing contractor. Deposits of cash for the full amount of ticket sales were made to the account of the contractor with no reductions for any of the above costs. Because auto racing proceeds were commingled with other Fair proceeds, the costs incurred by the Fair on behalf of the contractor could not be determined. (Finding 7, page 16)
We recommended the Fair discontinue the practice of selling tickets for the auto race lessee or modify the contracts to avoid incurring unnecessary costs.
Department officials accepted our recommendation and stated they will continue to sell tickets but will ensure that future contracts provide specifically for services rendered by the Fair. The Department will also bill the contractor for credit card fees, bad checks, and ticket contractor fees.
FEES NOT COLLECTED FROM VENDOR
No fees were collected during the fair from a vendor who sold feed and bedding materials to exhibitors for the 1999 Fair. The contract for this vendor, which expired in 1998, provided for increased fees for each year of the contract. The 1998 contract was for $5,000. A new contract was not renegotiated with this vendor for 1999 and no fees were collected during the Fair. Fair officials stated the lack of a contract was an oversight. (Finding 10, page 19)
We recommended all vendor contracts be renewed annually and the Fair assure that no vendors are at the fair without a contract.
Department officials accepted our recommendation and stated they collected a fee for 1999; have a signed contract for 2000; and will continue efforts to have signed contracts for all Fair vendors.
The remaining findings were being given attention by the Department. We will review progress toward implementing all recommendations in our next audit.
The Illinois State Fairs funds were audited in our financial audit of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
SPECIAL ASSISTANT AUDITORS
Our special assistant auditors for this audit were Sleeper, Disbrow, Morrison, Tarro & Lively.