REPORT DIGEST

 

ILLINOIS COURT OF CLAIMS

COMPLIANCE AUDIT

For the Two Years Ended:

June 30, 2003

 

Summary of Findings:

 

Total this audit                   3

Total last audit                   3

Repeated from last audit     2

 

Release Date:

March 2, 2004

 

 

 

 

 

State of Illinois

Office of the Auditor General

WILLIAM G. HOLLAND

AUDITOR GENERAL

 

To obtain a copy of the Report contact:

Office of the Auditor General

Iles Park Plaza

740 E. Ash Street

Springfield, IL 62703

(2170 782-6046 or TDD (217) 524-4646

 

This Report Digest is also available on

the worldwide web at

http://www.state.il.us/auditor

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

 

  • The Court did not prepare complete attendance records or performance evaluations of full-time employees.

  • The Court did not maintain accurate property control records.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{Expenditures and Activity Measures are summarized on the reverse page.}

 

                                             ILLINOIS COURT OF CLAIMS

                                                    COMPLIANCE AUDIT

                                        For The Two Years Ended June 30, 2003

EXPENDITURE STATISTICS

FY 2003

FY 2002

FY 2001

! Total Expenditures (All Funds)

$58,098,237

$54,364,078

$44,471,520

OPERATIONS TOTAL

% of Total Expenditures

$1,286,896

2.2%

$1,350,715

2.5%

$1,350,437

3.0%

                    Personal Services

                         % of Operations Expenditures

                    Average No. of Employees

                         Part-time (including 7 judges
                         not paid from the Courtís
                         appropriation)

                    Full-time

$845,028

65.7%

 

 

 

39

5

$896,522

66.4%

 

 

 

40

5

$873,401

64.7%

 

 

 

42

5

Other Payroll Costs (FICA,

Retirement)

     % of Operations Expenditures

 

$179,491

14.0%

 

$187,139

13.9%

 

$179,964

13.3%

Contractual Services

     % of Operations Expenditures

$12,148

0.9%

$14,130

1.0%

$20,362

1.5%

Lump Sum and Other Purposes

     % of Operations Expenditures

$226,329

17.6%

$222,356

16.5%

$242,622

18.0%

All Other Operations Items

     % of Operations Expenditures

$23,900

1.8%

$30,568

2.2%

$34,088

2.5%

AWARDS AND GRANTS TOTAL

% of Total Expenditures

$56,811,341

97.8%

$53,013,363

97.5%

$43,121,083

97.0%

! Cost of Property and Equipment

$117,850

$121,304

$144,145

SELECTED ACTIVITY MEASURES

FY 2003

FY 2002

FY 2001

! Filing Fees Collected

$10,345

$9,619

$9,494

! Total Claims Awarded

7,599

8,775

8,315

! Total Claims Denied

2,577

1,404

1,077

! Total Claims Dismissed

999

1,123

1,225

ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY HEADS

During Audit Period: Matthew J. Finnell, Court Administrator

Ellen Schanzle-Haskins, Director and Deputy Clerk

Currently: Matthew J. Finnell, Court Administrator

Delores Martin, Director and Deputy Clerk

 

 

 

Attendance records were incomplete

 

 

 

Employee performance evaluations were not conducted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

INADEQUATE CONTROLS OVER PERSONAL SERVICES

The Court did not prepare and maintain complete attendance records for three of five (60%) employees during FY02 and FY03. Further, attendance and payroll records could not be reconciled to ensure employees were not paid for unearned leave time. In addition, the Court did not prepare and submit the FY02 and FY03 Compensated Absences (SCO-580) report to the Office of the State Comptroller.

We also noted that the Court did not conduct or document performance evaluations of five full-time employees. (Finding 1, Pages 9-10) This finding has been repeated since 1999.

We recommended that the Court:

  • Timely prepare and maintain all attendance records.
  • Routinely compare accrued leave balances to payroll expenditures.
  • Annually prepare and submit the SCO-580 report.
  • Conduct and document annual performance evaluations of all full-time employees.

The Court agreed with the recommendations and stated that the Court was in the process of reconstructing the records and expected to be finished in February 2004. In addition, the Court responded that they intend to relieve the person primarily responsible for the finding of most of his duties in that regard and transfer them to another person. The Court further stated that a performance evaluation form had been drafted. The Court intended to perform an immediate evaluation for the two prior fiscal years and then annually in July thereafter. (For previous Court responses, see Digest footnote #1.)

 

 

 

Accurate property control records were not kept

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INACCURATE REPORTING OF FIXED ASSETS

The Court did not maintain accurate property records. The Court failed to record 4 of 19 (21%) of equipment additions totaling $1,387 on its property records and the Agency Report of State Property (C-15) filed with the Office of the State Comptroller. Furthermore, the Court improperly recorded two items with useful life of less than one year, which totaled $537.

We also noted the Courtís employee did not obtain a sufficient understanding of C-15 reporting requirements prior to completion of the form. The Court did not accurately complete 4 of 8 (50%) C-15 reports. Some deletions were offset against additions and the net amount of $1,507 was recorded as cost of the addition in the C-15 reports. (Finding 3, Pages 12-13) This finding has been repeated since 1999.

We recommended that the Court:

  • Implement appropriate procedures to ensure all additions are recorded accurately on the property control records.
  • Review applicable Statewide Accounting Management System (SAMS) procedures to ensure proper completion of the C-15 reports.

The Court agreed with the recommendations, and stated personnel have corrected the errors and reviewed the SAMS procedures to ensure that C-15 reports will be accurate. (For previous Court responses, see Digest footnote #2.)

 

OTHER FINDING

The remaining finding is less significant and is reportedly being given attention by the Court. We will review the Courtís progress toward the implementation of our recommendations in our next audit.

Mr. Matthew Finnell, Court Administrator, and Ms. Delores Martin, Director and Deputy Clerk, provided the responses to our recommendations.

AUDITORSí OPINION

We conducted a compliance audit of the Court as required by the Illinois State Auditing Act. The Court had no locally held federal or State trust funds. Consequently, there were no financial statements requiring a financial audit leading to an opinion.

 

____________________________________

WILLIAM G. HOLLAND, Auditor General

WGH:LKW:pp

 

SPECIAL ASSISTANT AUDITORS

E.C. Ortiz & Co., LLP were our special assistant auditors for this engagement.

 

DIGEST FOOTNOTES

#1 INADEQUATE CONTROLS OVER PERSONAL SERVICES Ė Previous Court Responses

2001: "The Court agrees with the recommendation."

1999: "The Court will conduct annual performance evaluations of all full-time employees and will strengthen timekeeping methods. Performance evaluations may have been conducted annually during both years of the audit period by the Chief Justice on a form approved by him. The Court acknowledges that completed forms were not placed in the personnel files maintained at the main office in Springfield. As for controls over employee attendance, the Court points out that it has only five full-time employees who are all located in the same small building. "Negative" timekeeping is not necessarily inaccurate, no significant errors were found, and the Court has not experienced problems with the method used. Not all State agencies utilize the "positive" timekeeping to the extent recommended. Large and medium sized agencies utilize methods to meet needs not necessarily shared by an agency with only five employees. However, the Court will strengthen its timekeeping methods but not necessarily to the extent recommended."

#2 INACCURATE REPORTING OF FIXED ASSETS Ė Previous Court Responses

2001: "The Court agrees with the finding and the recommendation. Due to personnel changes and inexperience with procedures, some property records were not maintained in the required manner. However, it should be noted that no property went unaccounted. Records were maintained for all property. Court personnel are correcting the errors noted in the finding and are implementing the appropriate procedures as recommended. All C-15 reports have been filed in a timely manner since 10/1/00."

1999: "The Court concurs with all three recommendations. To comply with the recommendations, the Court has reassigned inventory responsibilities to a less overburdened person."