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

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Bureau of 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.

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.

Financial & 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 chief internal auditor. The staff includes three certified internal auditors, two certified public accountants, and one certified fraud examiner. 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 1998-99, the Financial and Compliance Audit Section completed 14 audits and assisted with financial reviews for investigations conducted by the Bureau of State Investigations.

The audit reports issued during FY 1998-99 are summarized in the chart below.

 

FY 1998-99 Internal Audit Reports

 

Audit

 

Report

Number

Project Title

Issue Date

98012

Purchasing - Statewide Summary Report

7/13/98

98014

Pharmacy - Washington CI

8/4/98

98015

Pharmacy - Zephyrhills CI

8/4/98

98019

Pharmacy - North Florida Reception Center

8/4/98

98017

Security - F.S. 944-151

8/5/98

98020

Pharmacy - Florida CI

8/31/98

98021

Local Bank Funds - Dade CI

10/13/98

99001

Pharmacy - Tomoka CI

10/13/98

98018

Local Bank Funds - Wakulla CI

10/26/98

99002

Local Bank Funds - Hillsborough CI

11/12/98

99004

Purchasing - Gulf CI

12/1/98

98022

A & E Contracts

12/1/98

98016

Court-Ordered Bank Fund (COPS) Audit

3/9/99

99010

Follow-up Statewide Purchasing Audit

3/9/99

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:

Pharmacy Operations

The five pharmacy audits conducted during FY 98-99 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 current system was modified to provide stricter inventory controls and management is actively pursuing the purchase of a new inventory system.

A & E Construction Audit

An audit found that the Bureau of Design and Construction did not always adhere to the Florida Statutes, Florida Administrative Codes and the Florida Department of Corrections Policies and Procedures Directive regarding the administration of A&E contracts as follows:

  1. A detail analysis of the proposal fees for the contract was not performed
  2. No Rules and Regulations exist that address allowability of costs for Contractual Services.
  3. Consideration of the ability of professional personnel in the selection of the most qualified A&E firm was not performed.
  4. The Bureau of Design and Construction accepted and evaluated proposals containing information which was incomplete, outdated and/or not accurate.

Court Ordered Payment System

Auditors found that the current Court Ordered Payment System (COPS) has significant operational control deficiencies and material internal accounting control weaknesses. The system does not maintain a cash balance that can be reconciled to the bank cash balances. If funds were misappropriated, a standard bank reconciliation would not necessarily disclose the irregularity.

In addition to the major risk posed by the inability to perform a valid cash reconciliation, other important internal control measures were not in place in the Region IV accounting office. These included inadequate internal controls associated with: (1) the receiving of checks through the mail; (2) the timely deposits of checks into regional bank accounts; (3) the handling of returned checks; (4) control of data entry into the COPS system; (5) manual check processing outside of the COPS system; (6) control and access to the facsimile signature machine and the check printing room; (7) the accounting for all checks received from the printer; (8) voided and spoiled check procedures; (9) the deletion from the system of old cleared and voided checks and (10) controls associated with separation of duties.

Operational Review Section

With a staff of six professional employees, the Operational Review Section coordinates compliance reviews at 54 major prisons and at other department facilities. The reviews document compliance with policy-based standards addressing all critical agency operations. During a typical four-day review, a prison is evaluated by a team of independent reviewers specializing in security, food service, safety, environmental health, inmate programs and other strategic correctional areas.

The operational review program recently implemented a series of technological innovations to enhance program efficiency and agency accountability. New report-writing software has standardized the process and boosted efficiency, enabling review teams to issue draft findings at the conclusion of each review. These findings are used by site managers to develop strategies for quickly achieving compliance with agency policy directives. As multiple reviews are completed, a computerized data system produces comprehensive reports that help managers identify system-wide trends and issues.

This high-level analysis has been used to increase awareness of and correct system-wide deficiencies such as ground-fault electrical hazards and computer mainframe security procedures.

During Fiscal Year 1998-99, operational reviews were conducted at 26 major prisons, and generated 2,396 findings of non-compliance. The distribution of findings within key component areas is illustrated in the following table:

FY 1998-99 Operational Review Findings
Security

413

Food Service

229

Construction & Maintenance

92

Personnel

277

Safety & Environmental Health

669

Fiscal Management

114

Programs

184

Information Technology

93

Education

52

Health Services

174

TOTAL

2,396

The recent agency reorganization is having a positive effect on the operational review process by requiring each director's office to write new procedures which serve as criteria for all standards examined during reviews. This is raising the integrity of the reviews by providing field staff with a clearer understanding of why each checklist item is reviewed.

Technological Advances

The software used to manage the bureau's operational review standards was modified to accommodate the agency's new procedure numbering system and is playing a critical role in enabling a seamless transition from the old system to the new one. The software has also been enhanced to provide links between the new review standards and existing American Correctional Association (ACA) standards, so that operational reviews can help review sites prepare for ACA audits. In early 1999 the bureau placed its operational review standards on the department's intranet for access by all FDC staff. A list of "best practices" identified during reviews was also placed on the intranet as a resource for management and line staff.