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Awards, Honors, and Recognition


AWARDS 1999



Performance Audit of the Charter Schools Office and Michigan Resource Center for Charter Schools
Receives National Award - July 1999

The National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) has given an "Impact Award" to the Office of the Auditor General in recognition of the significant impact on the functions of state government of its 1998 performance audit of the Charter Schools Office and Michigan Resource Center for Charter Schools, Central Michigan University. The award honors legislative program evaluation offices that have produced work that has demonstrably improved state government. The performance audit report, which disclosed the need for numerous improvements in Central Michigan University's monitoring/oversight of charter schools, has led to many operational and programmatic changes.

The individuals who were responsible for the Charter Schools Office and Michigan Resource Center for Charter Schools, Central Michigan University included: Richard Stafford, Audit Division Administrator; Michael Becker, Audit Manager; Jackie Lawson, supervisor; and team member Tracy Jelneck.

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AWARDS 2000



Performance Audit of Juvenile Justice Services
Receives National Award - 2000

The National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) has given an "Impact Award" to the Office of the Auditor General in recognition of the documented impact on public policy of its 1999 performance audit of Juvenile Justice Services, Family Independence Agency (FIA). The award honors legislative program evaluation offices that have produced work that has demonstrably improved state government. The performance audit report, which included six material audit findings and disclosed the need for numerous improvements in the services FIA provides to adjudicated delinquent youths, has led to many operational and programmatic changes.

The individuals who were responsible for the Juvenile Justice Services, Family Independence Agency included: Joseph Harrison, Audit Division Administrator; James Bellinger, Audit Manager; Nancy Gifford, supervisor; and team members Beth Larson, Frank Natschke, Cheryl Bungart, Michael Gardner and Jennifer Trudeau.

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Performance Audit of the Michigan Schools for the Deaf and Blind
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended September 30, 2000

Michael Mayhew, Deputy Auditor General for Audits, is pleased to announce that the audit team for the performance audit of the Michigan Schools for the Deaf and Blind (MSDB), Department of Education, is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six-month period ended September 30, 2000. The audit team consisted of Mary Martin, supervisor, and team members Carol O'Callaghan and Stacie Sampson, with software assistance by Andrew Mitchell. The AOPTA was established in 1992 and is awarded every six months to recognize exceptional efforts of project teams in the Bureau of Audit Operations. MSDB and its predecessor agencies, prior to their combining in 1995, have provided important services to two select groups of Michigan citizens for more than 100 years. The services are provided to help improve the lives of these citizens, most of which are children. The audit team did a fine job of planning and conducting the audit that resulted in the exceptional audit report. The prior audits of the two predecessor agencies were made many years ago and significant changes in operations and service provision had occurred since the last audits. Thus, the audit team had little from those audits to build upon. The preliminary planning was thorough and identified the most important issues on which to focus the audit. The team performed the audit methodology in a logical and efficient manner. This occurred even though audit conditions were sometimes difficult. The audit team did a good job of complying with OAG project management standards related to the time budget, project milestones, and report processing. The due process was very smooth; MSDB agreed with all of the findings and corresponding recommendation, even though a number of them were of an important and high-impact nature. The audit report contained 10 findings, many of which had multiple parts, and 2 of the findings were classified as material. The report is a superior example of a government audit agency product that should be very useful to the Legislature, the Department of Education, and the auditee in making future decisions regarding the operations of MSDB. The findings, a number of which are creative, address issues ranging from the future operation and viability of the agency, to the effectiveness of services provided, to improvements in the providing of services. The House Fiscal Agency has contacted the OAG twice concerning this audit and was impressed and interested in the audit scope and findings. The exceptional audit was the result of a dedicated and superior effort from an audit team with limited experience. This was Mary's first job as a supervisor and she had no prior audit experience with MSDB or the Department of Education. Stacie, who was on the team the entire audit, had been with the OAG approximately one month when assigned to the audit. Carol, who had been on one other Department of Education audit, was on the MSDB audit less than 50% of the time.


AWARDS 2001


Performance and Financial Related Audit of the Child Development and Care Program
Receives NLPES Award - 2001

Auditor General Thomas H. McTavish received the following letter from Jane Thesing, Chair, National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) Awards Committee:

    Congratulations! I am pleased to inform you that your office will receive a Certificate of Recognition of Impact from the National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) for your report entitled Performance and Financial Related Audit of the Child Development and Care Program, Family Independence Agency. NLPES will present the certificate to your office during its annual business meeting and luncheon, which will be held at noon on Tuesday, August 14, in conjunction with the National Conference of State Legislatures' Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. We invite you or a representative of your office to attend the luncheon to receive your certificate. On behalf of the NLPES Executive Committee, thank you for the contributions that your office makes to the field of legislative program evaluation.

The individuals who were responsible for the Child Development and Care Program audit included: Joseph Harrison, Audit Division Administrator; James Bellinger, Audit Manager; Michael Laycock, supervisor; and team members Brian Hovey, Daniel Jaroche, and Piper Metz, with software assistance by Andrew Mitchell and Beth Larson.






Single Audit of the Michigan Department of State Police
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended March 31, 2001

Michael Mayhew, Deputy Auditor General for Audits, is pleased to announce that the audit team for the Single Audit of the Michigan Department of State Police (MSP) is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six-month period ended March 31, 2001. The audit team consisted of Amy Zimmerman, supervisor, and team members Jill Gard, Mary Kay Mays, Lori Mullins, and Rod Wlock. The AOPTA was established in 1992 and is awarded every six months to recognize exceptional efforts of project teams in the Bureau of Audit Operations. This audit is an excellent example of an efficient and quality financial audit that was well planned, well executed, and issued in a timely manner. The preliminary planning was thorough and the crew efficiently implemented the new federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133 requirements, including the new risk-based approach and the new COSO (Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission) control documentation and evaluation standards. The audit crew did an excellent job coordinating with the agency to keep the project moving without unnecessary delays and maintained a good working relationship with the agency staff. The report was issued within the required 13-month time frame, without any extraordinary report processing efforts by the OAG or agency. The audit report contained 8 findings and recommendations that provided important feedback to MSP on how to improve internal controls, financial operations, and cash management practices and how to maximize federal funds. MSP agreed with all of the findings and has been working on corrective action. This audit crew worked well as a team and also showed devotion to the overall mission of the OAG. During the audit period, the audit team spent three weeks working in cooperation with the State of Michigan Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (SOMCAFR) audit team by completing statement reviews and assisting Quality Assurance in reviewing working papers. This assistance was provided in an effort to enable the Department of Management and Budget to meet its goal for issuing the SOMCAFR. The audit team then worked hard to get their fieldwork back on track to complete the Single Audit and issue the report within the 13-month time frame.


Performance Audit of the Wayne County Community College District
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended September 30, 2001

Michael Mayhew, Deputy Auditor General for Audits, is pleased to announce that the audit team for the performance audit of the Wayne County Community College District is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six-month period ended September 30, 2001. The audit team consisted of Scot Hazel, supervisor, and team members Duane Smiley and Scott Werner, with software assistance by Andrew Mitchell. The audit team did a fine job of performing the various audit functions that resulted in the exceptional audit report. In particular, the thorough preliminary survey identified the most important issues on which to focus the audit. Also, the team performed the audit methodology in a logical and efficient manner, although the issues were varied and the College had five branch campuses. The due process went extremely well because of the audit team's efforts throughout the audit and during the report development phase. During the due process, the audit team often worked directly with the Chancellor to resolve issues. As a result, an audit conference was not held because the College agreed with all of the recommendations, even though a number of items were of an important and high-impact nature. The audit report contained 10 findings and 13 recommendations. Many of the findings were creative and/or had multiple parts. The findings addressed issues including the identification and collection of significant revenue, improper expenditures, effectiveness issues regarding student academic success, and efficiency issues. Three findings were classified as material. It is critical that the College comply with two of the material findings to help maintain its fiscal stability. The report is an excellent example of a government audit agency product that should be very useful to the auditee and its stakeholders in making future decisions regarding the College's operations. This exceptional audit was the result of a dedicated and superior effort from an audit team with fairly limited experience. ScottWerner had just started with the OAG and this was his first audit, Duane Smiley had been with the OAG less than three years and this was his first college audit, and this was Scot Hazel's first college audit as a supervisor.


RECOGNITION 2001



AICPA Judge - December 31, 2001
Jon Wise was asked by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to serve as one of its three judges to select the winner of the AICPA's 2001 "Outstanding CPA in Government Award."


AGA Community Service Award - December 31, 2001

Kelly Blessing was awarded the Community Service Award at the 2001 Annual Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Awards Dinner that was held on May 22. The Award and Nominations Committee chose her for her commitments to many organizations and causes. The Community Service Award is presented to an AGA member, either a Board member or an at-large member, to recognize exceptional personal commitment to community service activities sponsored by AGA and others.


Milestone Achieved With Single Audits - December 31, 2001

The OAG achieved a milestone this year by issuing 11 of 12 reports within the required reporting deadline. The milestone was achieved despite a significant reduction in the time available to issue the reports from 13 months to 9 months. This milestone could not have been achieved without the commitment and dedication of the audit supervisors and staff and the individuals from the Office of Professional Practice, Office of Information Technology, and Office of Administration.


AGA National President's Award - August 20, 2001

Outgoing Association of Government Accountants (AGA) National President Bill Broadus recently presented Jon Wise with a 2001 National President's Award in recognition of his service as the first Chair of AGA's new 21-member Financial Management Standards Board. In presenting the award, Mr. Broadus said that "Under Mr. Wise's direction, this Board has taken AGA back to the forefront of the standards-setting process, ensuring that the AGA membership is represented in the debate on these important issues." Jon was recently succeeded as Board Chair by Jim Williams, Ernst & Young's national government partner.


Letter From Grand Rapids Community College - July 2, 2001

Auditor General Thomas H. McTavish recently received a letter from Juan R. Olivarez, President of Grand Rapids Community College, who made the following comments regarding the Activities Classification Structure (ACS) audit recently completed:

    I would like to compliment your office on the audit personnel who conducted our audit, Elmer Hess and Nathan Blessing. They were very efficient, cooperative and congenial in carrying out their duties.


Letter From Lake Superior State University - January 17, 2001

Auditor General Thomas H. McTavish recently received a letter from Scott W. Smart, Vice President for Business and Finance, Lake Superior State University, who made the following comments regarding the audit that was recently completed there by Susan Curtis, Diane DeLuca, Maureen Eardley, and Daniel Jaroche.

    I would like to take this opportunity to praise the work of the audit team that was present on our campus during the completion of this project. The team, which was led by Susan Curtis, was at all times extremely professional and accommodating. They were a pleasure to work with.


AWARDS 2002



Performance Audit of the Michigan Educational Assessment Program
Receives NLPES Award - 2002

Auditor General Thomas H. McTavish received the following letter from Martha Carter, Chair, National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) Awards Committee:

    Congratulations! I am pleased to inform you that your office will receive a Certificate of Recognition of Impact from the National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) for your report titled Michigan Educational Assessment Program, Department of Education and Department of Treasury. NLPES will present the certificate to your office during its annual business meeting and luncheon, which will be held at noon on Thursday, July 25, in conjunction with the National Conference of State Legislatures' Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. We invite you or a representative of your office to attend the luncheon to receive your certificate. On behalf of the NLPES Executive Committee, thank you for the contributions that your office makes to the field of legislative program evaluation.


The individuals who were responsible for the Michigan Educational Assessment Program audit included: Joseph Harrison, Audit Division Administrator; James Bellinger, Audit Manager; Gerald Schwandt, supervisor; and team members Brian Kent and Michael Ventura, with technical assistance from Andrew Mitchell.

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Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport Project
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended March 31, 2002

Michael Mayhew, Deputy Auditor General for Audits, is pleased to announce that the audit team for the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport project is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six-month period ended March 31, 2002. The audit team consisted of supervisors Sherri Irwin, William Harper, Beau Hill, and Silhouette Street and team members Yvonne Benn, Heather Boyd, Julius Hampton, Daniel Jaroche, Timothy Johnson, Pamela Platter, Gregory Schroll, Tamara Torongo, Jill Trepkoski, and Michael Ventura. Throughout this project, the audit team worked in a stressful environment and under challenging conditions. This politically charged project was constantly under intense scrutiny by members of the Legislature, legislative staff, airport officials, and the media. The team was persistent in its efforts to address requests from legislative committees, while meeting tight deadlines. Initially, the OAG issued 7 reports on a preliminary review, covering a broad array of matters related to the Airport, including contractors; competitive bidding of contracts; management qualifications, responsibilities, and compensation; financial information, passenger facility charges, bond issuances, and capital outlays; airport maintenance; airport security; and land acquisition, disposal, and development. The team's outstanding development and presentation of the 7 written reports resulted in legislative requests for the OAG to conduct more detailed reviews of specific aspects of Airport operations. As a result, the audit team produced an additional 16 reports, for a total of 23 reports responding to the legislative requests for information. The reports were a comprehensive compilation of information on Airport operations that, while responding to the legislative committees' requests, also peaked a high level of media interest, generating countless news articles about the reports and the efforts of the audit team. The audit team did an exceptional job in performing the various aspects of this unique legislative request, under the most difficult of circumstances. The audit team exercised significant discretion, creativity, and initiative in taking general legislative requests and devising methodologies to provide key information to assist the legislative committees in gaining an understanding of Airport operations. This was the first comprehensive examination of the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in its 71-year history. Team members testified in numerous legislative hearings regarding most of the 23 reports. An outcome of the investigation included legislation that transferred management of the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to a newly established Airport Authority. The new law also strengthens contracting and internal control procedures to address concerns raised by the audit team. Also, the Airport is now under ongoing investigations by various law enforcement agencies. The ability, effort, cooperative attitude, and chemistry of the audit team were instrumental in contributing to the overall success of this project, resulting in a significant and positive contribution to air travelers and the citizens of this State.



Performance Audit of the Certificate of Need (CON) Program
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended September 30, 2002

Scott Strong, Director of Audit Operations, is pleased to announce that the performance audit of the Certificate of Need (CON) Program, Certificate of Need Commission, Department of Community Health (DCH), is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six months ended September 30, 2002. The audit team consisted of Bryan Weiler, supervisor, and team members Mark Lee and Melanie Zoerhoff. This project is an excellent example of a high profile and high impact performance audit of an issue that is of extremely high interest to the Legislature, to the State’s medical community, to the media, and to the State’s citizens in general. This was a very complex and difficult audit to conduct because of the sensitivity and highly political nature of the CON Program and also because the CON Program had never been audited before or been evaluated and assessed by DCH or the Legislature.


HONORS 2002


OAG Honors Memory of Franklin C. Pinkelman, C.P.A., C.I.A. - October 21, 2002

Frank PinkelmanIn a ceremony on October 10, 2002, Auditor General Thomas H. McTavish and his staff dedicated the executive conference room in memory of former Michigan Auditor General Franklin C. Pinkelman, who passed away in March 1996. Mr. Pinkelman's widow, Elizabeth (Jean), and his two daughters, Nancy Golm and Katie Pinkelman, attended the dedication, which included remarks by Mr. McTavish and reminiscences from Executive Deputy Auditor General James Neubecker, retired Director of Audits Robert Hovey, and former Audit Division Administrator Jeff Linderman. Also attending were a number of OAG retirees. Mr. Pinkelman was appointed Auditor General in 1982, after serving 16 years as Deputy Auditor General. He served as Auditor General until he retired in February 1989 to become a Vice-President and General Auditor for Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan. Friends and colleagues will remember that Mr. Pinkelman worked tirelessly to improve the governmental accounting and auditing profession during his tenure in public service. He served as Chair of the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council; as President of the National State Auditors Association; and as an Executive Committee member of both the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers and the Midwestern Intergovernmental Audit Forum. In June 1989, Mr. Pinkelman was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award of the Association of Government Accountants to recognize his 23 years of service to the State of Michigan. The plaque that adorns Michigan's new Franklin C. Pinkelman Executive Conference Room states in part that "Mr. Pinkelman's integrity, friendship, enthusiasm, leadership, and contributions to governmental accounting, auditing, and financial reporting continue to inspire and will always be remembered."


Cal Kladder Honored - September 23, 2002

Cal Kladder recently received a Quarter Century certificate from the Institute of Internal Auditors presented by Mary Jane Flanagan, a former OAG employee. In her presentation, Ms. Flanagan stated:

    Cal is a graduate of Davenport College - Grand Rapids and the Detroit College of Business. Cal joined the Institute on September 20, 1977 and was a founding member of the Lansing Chapter. Knowing Cal, I have no doubt that he was a driving force in the chapter's formation. He served as the first President of the Lansing Chapter in 1979-80 and again as President in 1990-91. He has chaired the Program Committee 4 times, has administered the CIA exam 43 times, has been a member of the Board of Governors for 13 years, has chaired the Research Committee, and is our Chapter's Historian.




RECOGNITION 2002



NSAA Announces 2002-03 Committee Members

National State Auditors Association (NSAA) President Rick Fair announced his appointments to the various NSAA standing committees for fiscal year 2002-03. Auditor General Thomas H. McTavish has been appointed to the newly created Homeland Security Coordination Committee, Mary Jo Koschay has been appointed to the Audit Standards and Reporting Committee, and Jon Wise has been reappointed to the Resolutions Committee.

Another Milestone Achieved With Single Audits

The OAG achieved another milestone this year with the issuance of all 9 Single Audit reports within the 9-month reporting deadline. This milestone could not have been achieved without the hard work, dedication, and commitment of the audit supervisors, audit staff, and the individuals from the Office of Professional Practice, Office of Information Technology, and Office of Administration.

Letters praising the work of OAG employees were received during the year for the following: Mary Jo Baker and Jarita Qawwee for excellent customer service given with requested reports.

Committee Appointments - September 30, 2002

The Executive Committee of the Midwestern Intergovernmental Audit Forum appointed Scott Strong to fill a vacancy as a State representative on the Executive Committee through December 31, 2003. Also, earlier this month, the National Executive Committee of the Association of Government Accountants appointed Craig Murray to fill a vacancy on its Financial Management Standards Board. Both vacancies were created by the upcoming retirement of Jon Wise, and Jon is extremely pleased with the appointment of his two successors.

Letter From Central Region Audit Forums - May 20, 2002

Auditor General Thomas H. McTavish recently received the following letter from Luis Escalante, Jr., Executive Director, Central Region Audit Forums:

    I am writing to express my appreciation to you and your staff for your outstanding efforts in hosting the spring 2002 Midwestern Intergovernmental Audit Forum in Lansing, Michigan. . . . I would like to especially recognize Jon Wise, Stephanie Roach, and Jackie Lawson for their outstanding contributions in ensuring the conference's success. They were instrumental in coordinating all facets of the conference. They are deserving of special recognition for they exceeded everyone's expectations. . . .


Letter From the Michigan Department of State Police - May 6, 2002

Auditor General Thomas H. McTavish recently received a copy of the following letter that was addressed to Amy Zimmerman from Colonel Stephen D. Madden, Director, Michigan Department of State Police:

    I would like to commend you and your staff for the professional manner in which you conducted the recent performance audit on the Uniform Services Bureau. Insp. Dan Smith and Ms. Linda Cwiek kept me apprised of the audit process as it was occurring. They were both very complimentary of the courteous and proficient way you addressed highly complex issues within the bureau. Your active participation in officer ride-alongs and site visits was a clear indication of your willingness to take the time to thoroughly learn about the bureau's mission and responsibilities. We appreciate your efforts in making the audit process a positive experience for the Uniform Services Bureau. Thank you for a job well done.


Letter From GASB - April 29, 2002

Auditor General Thomas H. McTavish was recently copied on the following letter that was addressed to Governor John M. Engler from Tom L. Allen, Chairman, Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB):

    I recently received a copy of the State of Michigan comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2001. Your state is among the first in the country to have issued financial statements in accordance with GASB Statement No. 34, Basic Financial Statements - and Management's Discussion and Analysis - for State and Local Governments. As you know, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) seeks to improve financial reporting in a number of ways. The GASB believes that the improvements in reporting cost-of-services information and the overall financial position of the government to taxpayers, governing boards, and other financial statement users result from the implementation of Statement 34. Therefore, we encourage early implementation so that this information will be available to those users on a more timely basis. We are extremely pleased, and impressed, by your state's ability to prepare the new financial statements in such a timely fashion. I was particularly impressed with the state's reporting of all of its infrastructure well in advance of the required date for reporting existing infrastructure. Your early implementation is a tribute to your office of financial management director Leon E. Hank; division director and project director Laura Mester; agency liaison manager Lisa Fath; financial reporting manager Doug Ringler; the entire office of financial management staff led by the financial control division; and the Office of the Auditor General. I want to commend you for supporting the efforts to provide your citizens and other financial statement users with a more comprehensive reporting of the state's financial operations in advance of the effective date of the standard. It is my hope that these users of your financial statements will recognize your efforts. In addition to the certificate of recognition we mailed to you, we also recognized Leon Hank and his staff at the National Association of State Comptrollers' meeting in March for their leadership and commitment. I have provided a copy of this letter and other information on Statement 34 to your local newspapers in hopes that their recognition of your efforts will encourage other governments to provide this improved financial reporting to their citizens and other financial statement users as quickly as possible.

State of Michigan Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (SOMCAFR) crew: Scott Strong, Therese Regner, Laura Hirst, Brian Hovey, Tracy Jelneck, Craig Murray, Yvonne Benn, Heather Boyd, Ivy Britting, Ryan Chittaro, Julie Dexter, Lisa Harral, Paul Jacokes, Timothy Johnson, Constance Jones, Scott Kusnier, Cheryl Manning, Lora Mikula, Lori Mullins, Eileen Schneider, Duane Smiley, Jill Trepkoski, Michael Ventura, and Melanie Zoerhoff. The late John Wirth was also a member of the fiscal year 2000-01 SOMCAFR crew.




AWARDS 2003



Performance Audit of the Certificate of Need (CON) Program
Receives NLPES Award - 2003

Auditor General Thomas H. McTavish received the following letter from Martha Carter, Chair, National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) Awards Committee:

    Congratulations! I am pleased to inform you that your office will receive a Certificate of Recognition of Impact from the National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) for your report titled Performance Audit of the Certificate of Need (CON) Program, Certificate of Need Commission, Department of Community Health.
    We would like to present the certificate to you at the NLPES business meeting and luncheon, which will be held at noon on Thursday, July 24, in conjunction with the NCSL Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California.
    On behalf of the NLPES Executive Committee, thank you for the contribution that your office makes to the field of legislative program evaluation.

The individuals who were responsible for the Certificate of Need Program audit included: Richard Stafford, Audit Division Administrator; Thomas Beuerle, Audit Manager; Bryan Weiler, supervisor; and team members Melanie Alvord and Mark Lee.


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Performance Audit of Hunting Permits Selection
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended March 31, 2003

Scott Strong, Director of Audit Operations, is pleased to announce that the performance audit of Hunting Permits Selection, Department of Natural Resources (DNR), is the winner of the AOPTA for the six-month period ended March 31, 2003. The audit team consisted of Susan Curtis, supervisor, and team member Pam Huffman, with technical assistance by Andy Mitchell.

Hunting permits selection is a function conducted through the shared responsibilities of DNR's Wildlife Division and DNR contractor EDS Corporation. The audit team had to learn the operating characteristics of DNR's EDP hunting license sales system and the statutory policy structure of the hunting permits programs, and then design and carry out analytical and testing methodologies to assess the extent to which the policy was effectively implemented. The team performed many EDP extracts and file matches.

The audit team developed and administered a comprehensive survey of applicants. This survey was critical in providing evidence of the public's general belief that the system was fair. The audit team also conducted statistical analysis of selection results to assess for bias in the selections.

The audit team met its budget target for completion of the audit and was very diligent throughout the report processing phase to ensure that the report was issued timely.

The audit identified several areas in which the hunting permits selection function was vulnerable to circumvention by applicants. The audit also determined that the vulnerability had not yet been significantly exploited.

The audit report was well received by DNR and the Natural Resources Commission. The pertinent committee of the Commission held an extensive public discussion on the audit report. The committee chair concluded the meeting by expressing appreciation for the work done and the positive focus of the report.

Throughout the audit, the audit team exhibited the utmost in creativity, enthusiasm, objectivity and professionalism, which resulted in an excellent audit.

In recognition of their selection, the audit team members will be Mr. McTavish's guests for lunch, will have a letter of commendation placed in their personnel and evaluation files, and will have their names engraved on the AOPTA plaque that is prominently displayed in the OAG office.


Performance Audit of Selected Probate Court Conservatorship Cases
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended September 30, 2003

Scott Strong, Director of Audit Operations, is pleased to announce that the performance audit of Selected Probate Court Conservatorship Cases is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six-month period ended September 30, 2003. The audit team consisted of Lisa Pratt, supervisor; team members Theresa Barsch and Shawna Hessling; OAG retiree Raymond Vernellis and Elden Lamb, Audit Managers; and Michael Becker, Audit Division Administator.

The audit report contained 10 findings and 11 corresponding recommendations. The findings addressed the lack of accuracy and validity in conservators' annual accountings and the probate courts' lack of effectiveness in administering and monitoring conservatorship cases.

The audit team did a fine job of performing the various audit functions that resulted in the exceptional audit report. In particular, the audit team did an excellent job coordinating with the State Court Administrative Office and various probate courts selected for review. As a result of excellent supervisory leadership and team dedication, the entire audit process was well planned and well executed.

The significance of the audit report's findings was exemplified by the considerable media interest and numerous articles generated, including analyses and interviews with probate judges around the State. The report not only resulted in a hearing with the Legislature, but received the personal interest of the Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.

In response to the audit report, the State Court Administrative Office has initiated its own review of all conservatorship cases identified as exceptions in our audit report to assess the impact of any statutory and procedural noncompliance.

In recognition of their selection, the audit team members will be Mr. McTavish's guests for lunch, will have a letter of commendation placed in their personnel and evaluation files, and will have their names engraved on the AOPTA plaque that is prominently displayed in the OAG office.



AWARDS 2004


Performance Audit of Selected Probate Court Conservatorship Cases
Receives NLPES Award - 2004

The OAG was selected as the winner of a 2004 National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) Impact Award for the performance audit of Selected Probate Court Conservatorship Case.

Congratulations to Mike Becker, Audit Division Administrator; Elden Lamb and OAG retiree Ray Vernellis, Audit Managers; Lisa Pratt, supervisor; and team members Shawna Hessling and former employee Theresa Barsch.



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Performance Audit of the Bureau of Local Government Services
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended March 31, 2004

Scott Strong, Deputy Auditor General, is pleased to announce that the performance audit of the Bureau of Local Government Services, Department of Treasury, is the winner of the AOPTA for the six-month period ended March 31, 2004. The audit team consisted of Beau Hill, supervisor, and team members Stacie Sampson, Hilary Goerge, and Julie Trierweiler.

The audit report contained 29 findings, including 16 material conditions. The findings disclosed uncollected State tax revenues and estimated additional revenues in the amounts of $82,800,000 and $36,100,000, respectively. Of the four objectives addressed within the report, the audit concluded that the Department was not effective for three of these objectives.

The audit team did a fine job of performing the various audit functions that resulted in a long, but excellent audit report. In particular, the audit team did an excellent job coordinating with a new administration within the Department and State government.

Also, the team demonstrated superior dedication as numerous exchanges of information occurred between the team and the Department in order to finalize an audit report of this caliber and impact.

With the identification of millions of dollars of uncollected tax revenues and estimated additional revenues, the report generated considerable legislative interest as displayed through legislative hearings and telephone inquiries. The audit report eventually caught the eye of the media, where it received considerable exposure.

 

Performance Audit of Human Resources Management Network (HRMN) Self-Service
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended September 30, 2004

Scott Strong, Deputy Auditor General, is pleased to announce that the performance audit of Human Resources Management Network (HRMN) Self-Service, Department of Civil Service, is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six-month period ended September 30, 2004. The audit team consisted of Shelly Fanson, supervisor; team members Paul Jacokes and Lori Mullins; Steve Baker, Audit Division Administrator; and Melissa Schuiling, Audit Manager.

The performance audit of HRMN Self-Service was a complex and technical audit. The audit team demonstrated excellence in several aspects of the audit, including coordinating with multiple departments, researching technical security issues, focusing audit effort on high-risk areas, and communicating effectively with the agency throughout the audit and at the audit conference. Throughout the audit, the team exhibited creativity, enthusiasm, and objectivity that enabled it to effectively test the system.

The audit was conducted because of the upcoming (at that time) mandatory use of HRMN Self-Service by all State employees. The audit report contained 7 findings, including 3 material conditions. The findings disclosed serious weaknesses related to the risk of providing confidential State employee and dependent data over the Internet, ineffective access and password controls over HRMN Self-Service, and insufficient Web application security controls.

The significance of the findings was exemplified in a letter sent from the Auditor General to the Departments of Civil Service (DCS) and Information Technology immediately upon the auditors' identification of the weaknesses. The letter communicated the material weaknesses and the risks associated with the weaknesses, including unauthorized access to personnel data; unauthorized changes to personnel data; disclosure of confidential data; and, ultimately, identity theft. The letter was sent in time for changes to be made to the system before the open enrollment period.

The first-time supervisor handled the audit remarkably well and exhibited excellent time management skills. Most notably, the audit was completed within budget and the letter to the department directors and the audit report were issued timely.

In response to the audit report, DCS enhanced the employee/manager password security system, changed its method of resetting passwords, and required all employees to complete their security profile. The audit received attention in the GONGWER and MIRS.

In recognition of their selection, the audit team members will be Mr. McTavish's guests for lunch, will have a letter of commendation placed in their personnel and evaluation files, and will have their names engraved on the AOPTA plaque that is prominently displayed in the OAG office.



AWARDS 2005


 

Performance Audit of the Bureau of Local Government Services
Receives NLPES Award - 2005


The OAG was selected as the winner of a 2005 National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) Impact Award for the performance audit of the Bureau of Local Government Services, Department of Treasury.

Congratulations to Mike Becker and Mark Freeman, Audit Division Administrators; Elden Lamb, Gerry Schwandt, and OAG retiree Ray Vernellis, Audit Managers; Beau Hill, supervisor; and team members Hilary Goerge, Julie Trierweiler, and former employee Stacie Sampson.

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Performance Audit of the Michigan School Readiness Program
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended March 31, 2005

 

Scott Strong, Deputy Auditor General, is pleased to announce that the performance audit of the Michigan School Readiness Program (MSRP), Michigan Department of Education (MDE), is the winner of the AOPTA for the six-month period ended March 31, 2005. The audit team consisted of Mary Jo Koschay, supervisor; team members Melanie Alvord and Pam Huffman; technical assistance provided by Andy Mitchell; Therese Regner, Audit Division Administrator; and Laura Hirst, Audit Manager.

MSRP provides funding to local schools and private nonprofit entities to fund high-quality preschool programs for four-year-old children who may be at risk of becoming educationally disadvantaged and who may have extraordinary need for special assistance. MSRP is funded from 100% General Fund/general purpose appropriations and serves approximately 25,000 children each year. MDE distributed approximately $85 million in MSRP grants in fiscal year 2003-04.

The audit, which contained 4 findings, involved travel to several different school districts and completion of a comprehensive analysis of program and student success. MDE had not evaluated the success of the program or its students since MSRP's inception during the 1995-96 school year and performed only limited on-site monitoring, choosing to rely heavily on a self-assessment of program success completed by the schools.

The audit crew assessed the success of the program by working with MDE, the Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI) within the Department of Management and Budget, and 25 local school districts to obtain identifying information about 5,398 preschool students over the last 5 years. Once the data had been collected, the audit crew, with the assistance of Andy Mitchell, matched the local school district information to data that was retained at the State level in CEPI's database. The audit crew then evaluated the students' fourth grade Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) scores, attendance, and grade retention to evaluate the success of MSRP.

The audit work showed that overall at-risk students that participated in MSRP were significantly more successful than at-risk students that did not participate in the program. Further, the audit work showed that overall the at-risk students that participated in MSRP were performing almost as well as the students that are not at-risk. Further analysis by preschool program did show that some preschool programs' students were not performing as well as other at-risk students. This analysis not only supported the finding that MDE should be tracking student progress to evaluate the success of MSRP, but also showed MDE that this type of analysis can be done in an efficient and timely manner with its current resources.

The audit crew evaluated MDE's monitoring procedures by conducting site visits at 10 schools. The audit crew reviewed 246 student files to verify supporting documentation related to program eligibility and requirements and noted several exceptions even though MDE had been conducting a limited number of these types of visits. In addition, the audit crew evaluated 38 schools' self-assessments compared to an independent consultant's assessment of those same schools and determined that the self-assessment scores were inflated and, therefore, not the best indicator of program quality or successes. These findings helped convince MDE that independent monitoring is necessary to ensure program compliance. The audit crew also convinced MDE that through data analysis and revised reporting requirements, it could monitor programs more efficiently and utilize its limited resources to focus on-site visits on programs where students are not showing success.


The audit crew accomplished this complex analysis, coordinated the travel during the summer months, and issued the report within the audit budget. Throughout the audit, the crew held biweekly status meetings with MDE to discuss and resolve issues and to present potential audit findings. These discussions, during the fieldwork, facilitated MDE's timely response to the report, eliminated the need for an audit conference, and resulted in the timely processing and release of the report. MDE communicated that it intended to use the recommendations to initiate new procedures, work with CEPI to capture preschool data, and attempt to obtain additional resources to support MSRP.


Performance Audit of Vital Records and Health Data Statistics
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended September 30, 2005

 

Scott Strong, Deputy Auditor General, is pleased to announce that the performance audit of Vital Records and Health Data Statistics, Bureau of Epidemiology, Department of Community Health, is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six-month period ended September 30, 2005. The audit team consisted of Mike Gardner, supervisor; team members Corrie Jameson and Connie Jones; Rick Stafford, Audit Division Administrator; and Tom Beuerle, Audit Manager.

This project is an excellent example of a high profile and high impact performance audit of issues that are of high interest to the Legislature, to the media, and to the State's citizens in general. In addition, the audit team generally met all of its audit time lines and completed the audit substantially within its budget.

The Bureau's mission is to maintain the Statewide vital records system, which contains over 30 million records dating back to 1867, and to provide health related data and information to various users. A vital record is a certificate or registration of birth, death, marriage, or divorce or an acknowledgement of parentage or other related data. During 2003, the Bureau processed approximately 155,000 customer requests for copies of vital records, 85% of which were birth certificates; made legal changes to about 21,500 vital records; and received approximately 317,700 new records.

The audit team determined that the Bureau did not have controls over vital records that would prevent individuals from creating false identities that could be used, for example, to illegally obtain driver licenses, passports, and social security cards.

The Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has stated that certificates of birth provide a means for opening many doors in society, from citizenship privileges to social security benefits. Individuals can use birth certificates to obtain driver licenses, passports, social security cards, or other documents with which to create false identities. Therefore, the need to establish sufficient controls over the birth registration process is of national concern.

The audit report generated substantial interest from the Legislature and received extensive coverage in the media, including articles in both MIRS and GONGWER. Newspapers and other media outlets that provided coverage of the audit included the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, the Oakland Press, the Macomb Dailey, the Muskegon Chronicle and the Associated Press. Also several television stations reported on the audit.

The audit report contained 11 findings, 2 of which were classified as material conditions:

 

    The Bureau did not periodically review the controls of local registrar offices or hospitals to ensure that these local units had sufficient safeguards over vital records, safety paper, or blank records used to generate vital records

    The Bureau did not retrieve vital records in the possession of local clerk offices that no longer had the authority to accept or issue those documents.

The audit also reported that the Bureau did not retain all documentation to support changes to vital records or customer requests for information consistent with established retention periods and that the Bureau did not maintain security agreements for all individuals who had access to the Central Paternity Registry database.



AWARDS 2006



2006 NSAA Excellence in Accountability Awards


The OAG was selected to receive two National State Auditors Association (NSAA) Excellence in Accountability Awards: one in the “2006 Performance Audit (large)” category for the Children’s Foster Care Program and the other in the “2006 Special Project” category for Auditing – The Game.

Congratulations to the Children’s Foster Care Program audit team members: Mark Freeman, Audit Division Administator; Gerry Schwandt, Audit Manager; Bryan Weiler, supervisor; and team members Angela Brown-Schafer, Patricia Chooi, Fran Thelen, and Andy Mitchell.

 

 


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Congratulations also to Melissa Schuiling, Audit Manager; Shelly Fanson, supervisor; and staff auditor Allison Pierce who submitted the special project, Auditing – The Game.


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Performance Audit of the Office of Professional Preparation Services
Receives NLPES Award - 2006

The OAG was selected as the winner of a 2006 National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) Impact Award for the performance audit of the Office of Professional Preparation Services, Michigan Department of Education.

Congratulations to Mark Freeman and OAG retiree Joe Harrison, Audit Division Administrators; Gerry Schwandt and OAG retiree Jim Bellinger, Audit Managers; Susan Rosenbaum, supervisor; and team members Jill Gard, Andy Mitchell, Fran Thelen, and former employee Christine Covell.


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Performance Audit of High School Graduation and Dropout Rate
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended June 30, 2006

 

Scott Strong, Deputy Auditor General, is pleased to announce that the performance audit of High School Graduation and Dropout Rates, Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI), Department of Management and Budget, is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six-month period ended June 30, 2006. The audit team consisted of Mary Lowe and Karen Bosworth, supervisors; team members Julius Hampton, Eileen Schneider, Sara Schondelmayer, and former employee Mary Makovic; Laura Hirst, Audit Division Administrator; and Mary Jo Koschay, Audit Manager.

Graduation and dropout rates are used as key indicators by the Legislature; policymakers at the federal, State and local levels; educators; and parents to assess the success of Michigan’s schools. The graduation rate is used by the Michigan Department of Education to determine if a Michigan high school has met adequate yearly progress (AYP). The determination is an important indicator for the high school and can have a significant effect on the school’s and the community’s reputation. The results of this assessment are widely published and provide citizens and parents with an indication of which school districts are more successful. In addition, if a school routinely fails to meet the AYP requirements, it is subject to sanctions, such as providing transportation to another school or offering supplemental services (tutoring).

The findings in this report received much attention from the school community, the Legislature and the media. The issues identify weaknesses in indicators used by many to make decisions about the education of students in Michigan. This report contains 3 material findings and 2 reportable conditions related to the calculation of graduation and dropout rates. The material findings in this report relate to the accuracy of the data used in the calculation. The findings show that the local high schools are not submitting accurate data to CEPI and, as a result, the calculated rates are inaccurate. In addition, CEPI was not completing sufficient analysis to identify the inaccuracies; reported inaccurate data to the federal government; did not develop sufficient edit checks and error reports to ensure that its computer programs were executing properly; and did not provide high schools with sufficient detailed instructions for migrant education students and midterm promotions. CEPI concurred with all of the recommendations and indicated that it will comply with them.

The audit crew worked well as a team, both coordinating a Statewide review of data and processes and conducting testing at 10 high schools. The audit crew worked with over 4 million electronic records to complete the audit. Many of these records contained confidential student data, contributing to the sensitivity of the audit. In addition, they also had to work with complex State and federal requirements for calculating and reporting graduation and dropout dates.

 



Performance Audit of Individual Income Tax Return Processing
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended December 31, 2006

 

Scott Strong, Deputy Auditor General, is pleased to announce that the performance audit of Individual Income Tax Return Processing, Department of Treasury, is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six-month period ended December 31, 2006. The audit team consisted of Mike Ventura, supervisor; team members Renee Johnson-Maybee, Andy Mitchell, and former employees Tom Kuslikis and Julie Manning; Mark Freeman and Therese Regner, Audit Division Administrators; and Gerry Schwandt, Audit Manager.

The effectiveness of income tax processing and tax collections is of key concern to the executive and legislative branches. The confidentiality of tax processing procedures made it difficult to draft a report that was clear, concise, and informative, while avoiding the disclosure of confidential information. The audit supervisor met numerous times with the agency during report processing to ensure that confidential tax processing information was not disclosed in the report.

The findings in this report received attention from the Legislature and the media. The report contained 2 material findings and 6 reportable conditions and identified over $20 million in estimated savings. The Department of Treasury agreed with the findings.

The audit crew worked well as a team and with the agency. In addition to the normal processing of the report, the team had to coordinate details of the findings with the agency that could not be printed in the public version of the report due to the confidentiality of tax processing procedures. The audit crew worked with several years of electronic State and federal tax records to complete the audit. The Department of Treasury processes five million income tax returns annually. The records contained confidential tax data, contributing to the sensitivity of the audit. In addition, the audit team also had to work with complex State tax requirements and processing procedures.


 

AWARDS 2007



Performance Audit of Selected Medicaid Pharmaceutical Drug Transactions
Receives NLPES Award - 2007

 

The OAG was selected as the winner of the 2007 National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) Impact Award for the performance audit of Selected Medicaid Pharmaceutical Drug Transactions, Medical Services Administration, Department of Community Health.

Congratulations to Rick Stafford, Audit Division Administrator; Tom Beuerle, Audit Manager; Bryan Weiler, supervisor; and team members Patricia Chooi and former employee Tamara Torongo, with technical support provided by Andy Mitchell.



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Performance Audit of the Court Originated Liability Section
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended June 30, 2007

 

Scott Strong, Deputy Auditor General, is pleased to announce that the performance audit of the Court Originated Liability Section (COLS), Medical Services Administration, Department of Community Health (DCH), is the winner of the AOPTA for the six-month period ended June 30, 2007. The audit team consisted of Scot Hazel, supervisor; team members Pam Huffman, Corrie Jameson, and former employee Aimee Wingle; Rick Stafford, Audit Division Administrator; and Tom Beuerle, Audit Manager. In addition, significant technical assistance was provided by Andy Mitchell.

This was a very complex audit and required a lot of extra effort from the audit team. The audit crew had to obtain a thorough understanding of Michigan's Medicaid program and its complex federal regulations. And because COLS operations were intertwined with several other programs, the audit crew also had to obtain a thorough understanding of Michigan's no-fault automobile insurance laws, workers' compensation laws, paternity and child support laws, and related administrative rules and regulations.

Auditing efforts were complicated by COLS's interdependence with other State and local government offices, such as local Friend of the Court and prosecuting attorney offices. Auditing efforts were also hampered by the significant control deficiencies that we identified (and reported on) during the audit. The audit included several data matches, along with considerable data analysis and case file review. As an example, we obtained access to Michigan Department of State Police automobile crash data and Statewide workers' compensation claim data and successfully matched it with State Medicaid claims data. We subsequently identified Medicaid expenditures that were the liability of other parties.

The audit report contained 11 audit findings and 15 corresponding recommendations. Seven of the audit findings were classified as material conditions. As a result of the audit, we identified $207.4 million in potential or missed Medicaid recoveries.


Preliminary Review of the Bridges System
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended December 31, 2007

 

Scott Strong, Deputy Auditor General, is pleased to announce that the preliminary review of the Bridges Integrated Automated Eligibility Determination System (Bridges), Department of Human Services (DHS), and Department of Information Technology (DIT) is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six-month period ended December 31, 2007. The audit team included Shelly Fanson, supervisor; team members Bob Kern and Ryan Riley; Steve Baker, Audit Division Administrator; and Melissa Schuiling, Audit Manager. This project received two nominations.

The AOPTA was established in 1992 and is awarded every six months to recognize exceptional efforts of project teams in the Bureau of Audit Operations.

The review of Bridges was conducted because of concerns over the development of Bridges. The review generated questions from Senator Hardiman as to the status of the Bridges project. The review was challenging because the system was still under development. The review included project oversight and management practices; project goals and objectives; design, testing, and implementation plans; and consultant and vendor contracts.

The audit team demonstrated excellence in many aspects including coordinating with four departments, contacting and obtaining information from other states, quickly adapting to changes in audit scope, and completing audit fieldwork timely. Despite the challenges, the audit team always maintained a positive and willing attitude.

The review identified 22 findings. Because Bridges was still in the development phase with a pilot of the system to occur within four months and because of the large amount of money still to be spent on Bridges, it was imperative that the issues be brought to the departments' and the Legislature’s attention quickly. Therefore, rather than issue a standard audit report, the findings were reported in an expedited letter. The audit team worked collectively to develop the 15-page letter and observations. In response to the review, DHS and DIT hired and appointed two new staff to manage the project.

The significance of the audit report’s conclusions and findings was exemplified by the high level of legislative interest, including multiple meetings between the audit team and Senator Hardiman and multiple, ongoing Senate hearings.

 



AWARDS 2008



Performance Audit of High School Graduation and Dropout Rates
Receives NLPES Award - 2008

 

The OAG was presented with the National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) Impact Award for the performance audit of High School Graduation and Dropout Rates, Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI), Department of Management and Budget, at the 2008 National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit, which was held July 22-26 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Congratulations to Laura Hirst, Audit Division Administrator; Mary Jo Koschay, Audit Manager; Mary Lowe and Karen Bosworth, supervisors; and team members Julius Hampton, Eileen Schneider, Sara Schondelmayer, and former employee Mary Makovic.

Award 2008

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Performance Audit of the School Report Card Program
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended June 30, 2008

 

Scott Strong, Deputy Auditor General, is pleased to announce that the performance audit of the School Report Card Program, Michigan Department of Education (MDE), is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six-month period ended June 30, 2008. The audit team included Cheryl Baker, supervisor; team members Jim Berridge, Jason Werner, Andy Mitchell, and former employee Tara Keener; Therese Regner, Audit Division Administrator; and Gerry Schwandt, Audit Manager.

The AOPTA was established in 1992 and is awarded every six months to recognize exceptional efforts of the project teams in the Bureau of Audit Operations.

The School Report Card Program, Education YES! - A Yardstick for Excellent Schools, and adequate yearly progress (AYP) provide performance measurement information for schools, parents, and the public. Accurate information is essential to assist schools in making improvements in student achievement and to assist parents in making decisions on where children should attend school. Miscalculations and inaccurate assessments of the performance of schools and school districts impact federal, State, and local level efforts to monitor schools and make improvements.

The audit crew overcame difficulties that resulted from MDE's limited agency personnel, lack of documentation, and the complexity of the calculations for the School Report Card grades issued for over 3,500 schools. The audit crew developed several exhibits to provide the readers with information on the complex assessment calculations taken from 7 different data sources. Based on our audit preliminary findings, MDE immediately made several computer programming changes, which resulted in the expansion of the audit scope by an additional year to determine if MDE corrective actions were successful.

The report included 5 material findings and 7 reportable conditions. The agency took immediate action on many of the findings to prevent future calculation errors. In addition, MDE was provided additional State and federal funds to hire staff to work on the School Report Card process, databases, and Statewide tests development.

In recognition of their selection, the audit team members will be Mr. McTavish's guests for lunch, will have a letter of commendation placed in their personnel and evaluation files, and will have their names engraved on the AOPTA plaque.

 



Performance Audit of the Suitability of Child Development and Care Program Providers
and Performance Audit of Child Development and Care Program Payments
Receive AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended December 31, 2008

Scott Strong, Deputy Auditor General, is pleased to announce that the Child Day Care performance audit project is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six-month period ended December 31, 2008. The audit project generated two audit reports: the performance audit of the Suitability of Child Development and Care Program Providers and the performance audit of Child Development and Care Program Payments. The audit team included Yvonne Benn, supervisor; team members Dawn Anderson, Lori Beltran, Mark Lee, Andy Mitchell, Thomas Ongstad, Sara Schondelmayer, and former employee Renee Johnson-Maybee; Mark Freeman, Audit Division Administrator; and Melinda Hamilton, Audit Manager.

The AOPTA was established in 1992 and is awarded every six months to recognize exceptional efforts of the project teams in the Bureau of Audit Operations.

The performance audits have had a significant impact on the operations of the Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Development and Care Program, both in increasing the potential for the safety of children as well as the financial operation of the Program. The public interest in the reports was very high. There were a significant number of articles written on the reports, including articles in other states. There was, and has been recent, high legislative interest in the report resulting in the Office of the Auditor General meeting with the House Fiscal Agency to discuss the audit report and testifying at a recent appropriation hearing. The reports included 16 material findings and 6 reportable conditions. DHS began corrective action for many of the findings while the audit team was conducting fieldwork because the audit team maintained excellent and timely communication with DHS of the audit issues as they arose.

In the performance audit of the Suitability of Child Development and Care Providers, the audit team reviewed DHS's processes to perform background checks, including the criteria used by DHS to identify unsuitable providers. In addition, the audit team members performed numerous data matches to determine the effect of the problems they had identified in the review of the processes and criteria. The result was the identification of approximately 1,900 unsuitable child day-care providers that potentially placed approximately 4,600 Child Development and Care Program children at risk.

In the performance audit of Child Development and Care Program Payments, the audit team reviewed case file information for a randomly selected sample of both Child Development and Care grantees (parents) and associated providers, including billing histories, time and attendance records, grantee work schedules, and children school schedules to determine the propriety of the childcare billings and payments. The audit team identified numerous problems with DHS’s oversight of the financial management of the program that resulted in potential improper and, in some cases, potentially fraudulent Child Development and Care Program payments of approximately $232 million.

In DHS's response to the audits, it indicated that it agreed with the findings and that corrective actions were being implemented. In addition, in the Governor’s 2009-10 Executive Budget, there is a projected cost savings to the Child Development and Care Program of $10 million from the completion of provider background checks, review of cases at high risk for error, verification of the hours of day care needed, and review of the accuracy of provider time and attendance records (all recommendations within the audit reports).

The audit team used innovative and creative methodologies in addressing the identified risks and inefficiencies of the audit. For example, rather than auditing the providers of care and the recipients of care separately, they reviewed them together. The approach provided for a more complete picture of who was providing the care, the parents' need to receive the day care assistance and the children who were being provided the care. The audit team also evaluated the availability of providers to provide the care they reported by looking to see if they had other employment and determining if the hours of employment conflicted with the hours of care. In addition, the audit team wished to minimize the time it took to obtain copies at the DHS field offices. Consequently, they used cameras to obtain copies of the necessary documentation. This reduced the time it took to review the case files.

The audit team demonstrated exceptional teamwork in completing the audit and the production of the report. Because of the approach taken to review the files, there was a significant need for the audit team members to share information continuously with the other audit team members as to what they were finding. This ability and willingness to work together was evident in the audit results. In addition, the audit team was on top of the audit fieldwork results and able to adjust the planned number of sample items and DHS field visits because sufficient audit evidence had been obtained through a smaller sample size.

In recognition of their selection, the audit team members will be Mr. McTavish’s guests for lunch, will have a letter of commendation placed in their personnel and evaluation files, and will have their names engraved on the AOPTA plaque.


AWARDS 2009



Performance Audit of Child Development and Care Program Payments
Receives NLPES Award - 2009

The OAG was selected as the winner of a 2009 National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) Impact Award for the performance audit of Child Development and Care Program Payments, Department of Human Services.

Congratulations to Mark Freeman, Audit Division Administrator; Melinda Hamilton, Audit Manager; Yvonne Benn, supervisor; and team members Dawn Anderson, Lori Beltran, Mark Lee, Thomas Ongstad, Sara Schondelmayer, Andy Mitchell, and former employee Renee Johnson-Maybee.

 

Award 2009

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Performance Audit of the Bureau of Correctional Industries
Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period Ended June 30, 2009

 

Scott Strong, Deputy Auditor General, is pleased to announce that the performance audit of the Bureau of Correctional Industries, Department of Corrections (DOC), is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six-month period ended June 30, 2009. The audit team consisted of Elmer Hess, supervisor; team members Ryan Austin, Dennis McMillan, and Hilary Goerge (retiree); Laura Hirst, Audit Division Administrator; and Mary Jo Koschay, Audit Manager.

This audit reported seven findings, including one material condition. The material condition highlighted that the Correctional Industries Revolving Fund has operated at a loss for several consecutive years, even though by law it is required to be a self-supporting system. The audit team also noted that the Fund continued to operate several unprofitable factories, had high supervisory overhead, and had paid prisoners for being idle during the years it reported losses. In addition, the audit team identified the need for the agency to develop a business plan, a marketing plan, and a continuous quality improvement (CQI) process and to survey customers. The team also identified issues with price setting and scheduling and utilization of delivery trucks.

There has been a very high level of media and legislative interest in this report as was evidenced by approximately 15 articles published by various media outlets and requests from legislators for meetings and hearings to discuss the report. Also, because of the State's current budget crisis, the audit report is very timely in that it identifies an area within DOC that should either be shut down or be changed to become more profitable. Actions taken as a result of the audit could provide significant savings to the State.

In recognition of their selection, the audit team members will be Mr. McTavish’s guests for lunch, will have a letter of commendation placed in their personnel and evaluation files, and will have their names engraved on the AOPTA plaque.


Auditor General Tom McTavish
Named Outstanding CPA in Government


Our heartfelt congratulations to Auditor General Tom McTavish who was named "2009 Outstanding CPA in Government."

The following was reported in MACPA's E-News Issue 482:

    On Monday, August 10 in Washington, DC, MACPA member Thomas H. McTavish, CPA, CGFM received the AICPA's Outstanding CPA in Government Award. Currently serving his third eight-year term as Auditor General for the State of Michigan (Michigan's longest-serving appointed auditor general), Tom has worked in state government for 36 years. A past MACPA board member, Tom has built Michigan's Office of the Auditor General into one of the country's most effective and highly regarded state audit departments. MACPA Chair of the Board Thomas Beard and President & CEO Peggy Dzierzawski were on hand for the award presentation during the AICPA Governmental Accounting & Auditing Update Conference. Watch for more on Tom McTavish in the September/October Leaders' Edge.

 

Award 2009

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RECOGNITION 2009



Auditor General Tom McTavish
Elected 2009 NASACT President

Congratulations to Auditor General Tom McTavish who took the oath of office as President of NASACT at the 93rd NASACT Annual Conference. The conference was held August 9-13 in Chicago, with a number of meetings and special events. The conference featured four general sessions and 19 concurrent sessions, with over 52 speakers covering a wide range of topics of interest to state auditors, state treasurers, and state comptrollers and members of their offices.

 

Award 2009


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AWARDS 2010



Performance Audit of Prisoner Food Services
Receives NLPES Award - 2010


The OAG was presented with a National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) impact award for the performance audit of Prisoner Food Services, Department of Corrections (Project Number 471-0621-07L), released in June 2008.

Congratulations to Laura Hirst, Audit Division Administrator; Mary Jo Koschay, Audit Manager; Brian Kent, Audit Supervisor; and team members Ivy Jaroche, Silhouette Todd, Mike Foerster, and former employees Kelly Bernath and Frank Schmid.

 

Award 2010

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AWARDS 2011



Performance Audit of Bureau of Correctional Industries
Receives NLPES Award - 2011


The OAG was presented with a National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) impact award for the performance audit of the Bureau of Correctional Industries, Department of Corrections (Project Number 471-0130-08), released in June 2009.

Congratulations to Laura Hirst, Audit Division Administrator; Mary Jo Koschay, Audit Manager; Elmer Hess, Audit Supervisor; and team members Dennis McMillan, Ryan Austin, and OAG retiree Hilary George.

 

Award 2011

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AWARDS 2012



Performance Audit of Pharmaceutical Costs, Department of Corrections
Receives NLPES Award - 2012


The OAG was presented with a National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) impact award for the Performance Audit of Pharmaceutical Costs, Department of Corrections (Project Number 471-0325-09L), released in March 2011.

Congratulations to Laura Hirst, Audit Division Administrator; Mary Jo Koschay, Audit Manager; Mike Ventura Audit Supervisor; and team members Mark Lee, and Susan Morway.

 

Award 2012

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AWARDS 2013



Unemployment Insurance Benefit Overpayments and Nonmonetary Determinations
Receives NLPES Award - 2013

The OAG was presented with a National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) impact award for the performance audit of Unemployment Insurance Benefit Overpayments and Nonmonetary Determinations - Unemployment Insurance Agency, Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (Project Number 641-0315-10), released in March 2011.

Congratulations to Elden Lamb, Audit Division Administrator; Lisa Mazure, Audit Manager; Scot Hazel, Audit Supervisor; and team members Mike Foerster, Diane DeLuca, and Brad LaBram


Award 2013

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AWARDS 2014



Renaissance Zone Program
Receives NLPES Award - 2014


The OAG was presented with a National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) impact award for the performance audit of the Renaissance Zone Program – Michigan Economic Development Corporation (Project Number 271-0425-11), released in January 2013.

Congratulations to Steve Baker, Audit Division Administrator; Mary Jo Koschay, Audit Manager; Mike Ventura, Audit Supervisor; and team members Julius Hampton and Shannah Havens.


Award 2014

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Auditor General

Doug Ringler, C.P.A., C.I.A.
Auditor General

201 N. Washington Square, 6th Floor
Lansing, Michigan 48913
Phone (517) 334-8050
Fax (517) 334-8079