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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.

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