The Office of Administration under the past three governors has been misappropriating certain funds according to the State Auditor’s Office.
State Auditor Susan Montee says the Office of Administration has essentially played “a shell game” in regards to taking money from eleven different state programs.
Montee says over the past two years and as far back as 2002, transfers have been made from three state scholarship, two state funds to benefit veterans’ homes and cemeteries, as well as services to domestic violence victims, alcohol and drug rehabilitation services, an endowment trust, workers’ compensation, and early childhood development, education and care.
She says the audit also found errors that were made when calculating the amounts to be transferred from state funds.
The errors span the administrations of Governors Holden, Blunt and Nixon. State Auditor Susan Montee says eleven programs have suffered from the mis-calculations. Montee says the Missouri Veterans Home was the largest program impacted. She says 5.7 million dollars has been moved from the Veterans home over to General Revenue over the course of the past several years.
She acknowledges that the mishandling of funds could be grounds for a lawsuit.
Montee’s office issued the following information and findings were included in our audit of the Office of Administration’s (OA) Central Services Cost Allocation Plan:
Beginning in 2002, an amount is appropriated yearly through the state’s budget process allocating the costs of central services, paid by the state General Revenue Fund, to various state funds. In fiscal years 2009 and 2008, approximately $11,879,000 and $15,288,000 has been recovered by the General Revenue Fund. Central services are services provided to other state agencies by state offices including the OA, State Auditor, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, General Assembly, Capitol Police, and Department of Revenue. Examples of some central services costs allocated include facilities management, technology services, accounting services, budget and planning, personnel, and purchasing services provided by the OA, audits performed by the State Auditor’s office, and the administration of all revenue and taxation duties for the state performed by the Department of Revenue.
The OA has not established adequate policies and procedures to determine the state funds to be included in the Central Services Cost Allocation Plan. Additionally, the OA has not established specific criteria to determine and has not consistently determined the funds to be included and exempted in the Central Services Cost Allocation Plan. During the 2 years ended June 30, 2009, the OA made transfers totaling almost $3 million from several state funds that, based on legal restrictions, may be questionable. Examples of questionable transfers include:
- Transfers from three state scholarship funds totaling $210,763 and $87,087 in fiscal years 2009 and 2008. State law requires moneys in these funds to be used for providing financial assistance to college students.
- Transfers from two state funds to benefit veterans’ homes and cemeteries totaling $682,867 and $751,067 in fiscal years 2009 and 2008. State law requires moneys in these funds to be used solely for veterans’ homes and cemeteries.
- Other examples of questionable transfers include funds restricted for services to domestic violence victims, alcohol and drug rehabilitation services, an endowment trust, workers’ compensation, and early childhood development, education and care.
The audit also found errors that were made when calculating the amounts to be transferred from state funds.