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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary

The Bureau of Internal Audit

Internal Audit Mission

The mission of the Office of the Inspector General, Bureau of Internal Audit, is to assist the Secretary and the Department in ensuring that:

  1. agency goals are met;
  2. all resources are used consistent with laws, regulations, and policies;
  3. all resources are safeguarded against waste, loss, and misuse; and
  4. reliable data is obtained, maintained, and fully disclosed.

Internal Audit Goals

Our primary purpose is to take a proactive approach in meeting our agency's needs. Toward that end, we have established four key goals to accomplish our mission:

  • Provide for quality audits, reviews, studies, and investigations
  • Perform audits, reviews, studies, and investigations in a timely manner
  • Use our resources efficiently; and
  • Provide adequate audit coverage to mitigate the agency's risks.

We believe the Office of the Inspector General, Bureau of Internal Audit, can best achieve its goals by:

  1. supporting the Department's efforts to achieve its objectives;
  2. maintaining a dynamic, team-oriented environment which encourages personal and professional growth, and challenges and rewards our employees for excelling and reaching their full potential; and
  3. emphasizing continuous improvement in our delivery of services.

Bureau Organization

The Bureau has two units:

  • the Management Review Section and
  • the Financial and Compliance Audit Section

Financial and Compliance Audit Section

The Financial and Compliance Audit Section conducts financial, compliance, electronic data processing, and performance audits for the agency per Section 20.055 F.S. Such audits are conducted in accordance with the current Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing published by the Institute of Internal Auditors (Red Book), and, where appropriate, generally accepted government auditing standards promulgated by the Comptroller General of the United States (Yellow Book).

The section employs nine professional staff members with oversight from the bureau chief who functions as director of auditing. The staff includes two certified internal auditors, three certified public accountants, and one certified fraud investigator. The nature of their work places them on the road much of the year as they audit Department facilities and programs throughout the state.

Summary of Audits Completed

During FY 1997-98, the Financial and Compliance Audit Section completed 20 audits and one review, and assisted with financial reviews for investigations conducted by the Bureau of State Investigations. The audit reports and reviews issued during FY 1997-98 are summarized in the chart below.

FY 1997-98
Internal Audit Reports and Projects:
Audit
Number
Project Title Report
Issue Date
96015 Substance Abuse Treatment 07/11/97
96017 Vehicle Utilization 09/10/97
96018 Purchasing - Wakulla CI 09/10/97
96020 Purchasing - Holmes CI 07/07/97
97003 Purchasing - Region I 10/06/97
97004 Purchasing - CFRC 11/03/97
97006 Purchasing - Union CI 11/03/97
97007 Purchasing - Polk CI 10/08/97
97008 Purchasing - New River CI 10/17/97
97009 Purchasing - Everglades CI 09/26/97
98002 Purchasing - Charlotte CI 10/08/97
98003 Purchasing - FSP 01/21/98
98004 Purchasing - Broward CI 10/17/97
98005 Inmate Grievance Procedures 04/30/98
98006 Quality Assurance - Internal Audit 12/23/97
98007 Purchasing - NFRC 11/25/97
98008 Purchasing - Martin CI 11/05/97
98009 Purchasing - Hillsborough CI 11/25/97
98010 Prompt Payment Compliance 10/02/97
98013 Pharmacy - Liberty CI 05/20/98
Reviews
98011 Cellular Phone Usage 04/03/98

Audit Results

The Bureau views its audit mandate as an opportunity not only to identify site-specific deficiencies so that local managers can correct them, but also to ferret out system-wide deficiencies and weaknesses which, when addressed by management and corrected, produce long-term improvements benefiting the entire Department. Highlights of system-wide improvements generated by Bureau activity during the past fiscal year include the following:

  • Purchasing

    The 14 purchasing audits conducted during FY 1997-98 defined the general condition of the agency's procurement activity statewide. The most significant, recurring conditions reported by the auditors were (1) that the bid process had been circumvented, and (2) that blanket purchase orders were handled incorrectly. The audits defined and clarified Regional Office oversight responsibility for purchasing activity, and as a result, regional managers established a monitoring system to improve compliance at all locations.

  • Drug Abuse Treatment Contracts

    An audit identified the lack of a valid tool for measuring the performance of contract vendors providing residential drug treatment services for inmates. With this lack of valid outcome measures, the Department was unable to determine the cost-effectiveness of the treatment services provided by various vendors. Additionally, the audit identified incongruity in the requirements for and accounting of co-payment fees paid by offenders. As a result of the audit, the Department's Office of Community Corrections established a new statewide policy standardizing co-payment requirements and requiring future contracts to reflect co-payment income, ultimately resulting in lower costs to the Department.

  • Vehicle Use

    An audit identified widespread disparities in the availability and use of state-owned motor vehicles among various bureaus at Central Office. As a result, the Department established a Central Office motor pool, which has provided more efficient use of vehicles and standardized maintenance efforts.

  • Drug Inventories

    A pharmacy audit disclosed internal weaknesses in both the procedures used for ordering and receiving drugs and in the computer software used to record inventories. Auditors found that the RX30 inventory system allowed staff to arbitrarily adjust inventory levels without adequate documentation. As a result, the system was modified to provide stricter inventory controls.

Management Review Section

The Management Review Section employs six professional staff members, and coordinates management reviews at 56 major institutions, 5 regional offices, 20 probation circuits and various smaller facilities every two years. The reviews verify compliance with standards addressing all facets of field operations.

During a typical four-day team-led review, a major institution is evaluated for compliance with more than 1,300 standards by teams of off-site experts in security, food service, personnel, fiscal management, safety, and eight other key components. The resulting report gives management a snapshot of conditions at each review site and is then used to make improvements.

The Management Review Section coordinated 62 team-led management reviews at Department sites during FY 1997-98. An additional 47 "self-reviews" were conducted by local review site staff at locations which did not receive team-led reviews during the year.

Computer Enhancements

Fiscal auditing techniques traditionally involve a time-consuming physical inspection of numerous paper records, often selected through random sampling techniques. In early 1997, the Bureau obtained data downloads from the statewide SPURS record of purchasing transactions and used it to develop its own database of purchasing transactions. An in-house programmer then developed a series of database reports to extract just those portions of the data needed to identify instances of non-compliance with state purchasing rules. This enables auditors to quickly examine all purchasing transactions within the scope of the audit, and to extract meaningful data in a small fraction of the time needed to review just a partial sample of paper records.

In 1996, the Bureau developed a software application that staff now uses to produce Management Review reports in about one-fifth the time previously required. Dubbed "DC Report Writer," the Windows-based software automates much of the report writing process and provides uniform formatting. Bureau staff now provide site managers with draft copies of their reports during the week of the review, so they can begin addressing non-compliance issues immediately. The software also enables site staff to prepare corrective action responses, and allows upline managers at regional offices to monitor their progress. It also stores the data in a format suitable for subsequent analysis. In late 1997, the Bureau of Internal Audit received a Davis Productivity Unit Award for this custom software application. The Bureau subsequently donated the associated $500 award to the Foundation for Partners in Correctional Excellence.

Bureau staff also created a database that allows managers to examine review results by location, facility type, program area, and time frame. Users can retrieve highly focused data extracts from dozens of reviews in a matter of seconds. The first-ever statewide recap of reviews from all 56 major institutions and 20 probation circuits was recently distributed to Department managers so they can study trends and identify areas of concern in individual program areas.

In 1997, the Bureau implemented a new system for modifying management review standards. It features databases for tracking standard change requests and for printing the checklists used to verify compliance in the field. When a change request is received, it is evaluated and forwarded for final review by the office having primary responsibility for the standard. Any Department employee can submit change requests via the new system, which has reduced the cycle time needed to implement revisions from 12 months to 45 days.