This audit examined warehouse bankruptcies for which records were available, and assessed whether the Department effectively enforces the law and protects the public. The grain elevators that had failed showed a number of warning signs before failure actually occurred, including poor financial records, a history of not having enough grain on hand to cover obligations to farmers, insufficient money in net current assets to meet minimum State requirements, and problems in obtaining or renewing bonds. The audit notes that in most of these cases, the Department did little to emphasize the problems and make sure they were corrected.The audit concludes that while the Department shows initiative in some areas of its regulation, it generally needs to be more aggressive in detecting problems and correcting them after they have been discovered.
Department of Revenue: Dealer Licensing Regulatory Program
This report concludes there is no need for the Dealer Licensing Bureau to continue regulating the sale of vehicles in Kansas because its regulatory efforts do little to safeguard the public from harm. The Bureau’s activities are primarily administrative. It handles only those complaints dealing with administrtion matters like misuse of dealer tags.The Bureau’s regulation also cannot help ensure dealers are more competent or qualified because there are no training, education, or experience requirements for licensure. Other aspects of the regulatory program that either act to benefit the industry or don’t serve to protect the public include licensing vehicle salesmen and regulating dealer-manufacturer relationships.
Department of Revenue: Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control
This sunset audit examined the State’s regulatory program, which is administered by the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The audit found that Kansas’ program is one of the most restrictive in the country, primarily because of statutes and regulations that restrict business operations. These include strict residency requirements, prohibitions against advertising, restrictions on deliveries, sales, and credit practices, and minimum retail mark-ups of alcoholic beverage prices.The audit also examined the collection and enforcement of the liquor excise tax. Based on a review of the Division’s method of estimating taxes owed, the auditors concluded recent estimates appear to have been overstated. Further, initial audits of private clubs conducted by Department of Revenue auditors show some taxable liquor sales are not being reported.
This audit concludes that State regulation should be continued because the services performed by both nurses and mental health technicians could result in harm if they are performed improperly. The audit’s review of complaints and disciplinary actions against licensed nurses disclosed the potential for physical harm to persons as a result of incompetence. In assessing whether regulation meets the needs of the public, the audit found the following problems with the Board’s complaint investigation function: inadequate reporting of complaints by health care employers, restrictive complaint filing policies, and poor documentation of complaint informatin.
Kansas Corporation Commission Public Utility Regulatory Program
The report concludes that regulation over public utilities should be continued. The Commission and its staff in the Utilities Division appear to be doing a good job of controlling utility rates and protecting consumers while helping ensure that the regulated utilities remain economically viable. The auditors did find, however, that some aspects of the public utility regulatory program aren’t being sufficiently addressed.
This audit focused on the administration and enforcement of sales and withholding taxes, which accounted for more than half of the approximately $1.35 billion in gross revenues administered by the Division in 1981. The Division’s effectiveness in administering these taxes was examined in three areas: identifying and registering firms that are required to remit taxes, managing their accounts and periodically updating their filing cycles to ensure that returns are filed according to the schedules called for in the law, and following up and applying penalties on firms not remitting taxes or not filing timely and accurate returns.The audit concludes that improvements are needed in all three areas and makes a number of recommendations. Most call for using resources or laws already available to improve or strengthen management practices, to comply with current laws, and to carry out functions on a more timely basis.
This audit examines two topics--bid-rigging on highway contracts, and management of the State’s highway and freeway funds. At the time of the audit, federal and State investigations had already shown that a considerable amount of bid-rigging had taken place on highway construction projects in recent years. The audit focused on how effectively the State discouraged collusion in the past and if this effectiveness improved after the disclosures of collusion.The audit found that before collusion was uncovered, a number of basic procedures to discourage it were not in place. For example, the State’s own estimates of a projects’ cost were not kept confidential. Contractors who knew the estimate could then know how high they could set the winning bid without arousing suspicion. Safeguards were not in place because the Department of Transportation didn’t consider collusion to be a serious possibility.
Because of litigation over access to strudent records, Legislative Post Audit had to suspend its work on the special education portion of the Utica school district audit. The rest fo the audit was issued earlier in 1983. After the matter of access was resolved, the auditors returned to complete the suspended portion of the work.The Utica district is in a special education cooperative with 15 other districts, Utica’s students are only a small portion of the students served by the cooperative. The auditors found Utica’s program to be in good order. Students appeared to be porperly placed, and parents were satisfied with the services provided. The district’s records were in very good shape, and the district had a high level of compliance with requirements of the special education program. Deficiencies at the special education cooperative had been found by the Department of Education in a 1981 evaluation, but the problems had been corrected.
Summary Report - School District Performance Audits andDoniphan County Education Cooperative
An audit report was issued for each of the following school districts: Wichita, Topeka, Columbus, Spring Hill, Russell, Elwood, Greeley, & LeRoy-Gridley. The summary report deals with the broader implications of the series of audits; it makes recommendations for possible action that might be taken statewide to address problems that appear to be similar in many districts. Such as: Improving budget practices and procedures Improving investment practices and procedures Encouraging more efficient use of staff and buildings.Part II covers the Doniphan County Education County Education Cooperative. When the LPAC selected the school districts, it also directed the Division to review the Cooperative, which provides special education services to one of the audited districts. Special education was one program of particular interest to the Committee.
Mental Health and Retardation Services: Part II: Assessing Selected Aspects of Institutional Treatment
The audit disclosed some problems with the way that State mental health and retardation hospitals are carrying out the policies and procedures related to the rights and treatment of institutionalized patients. For example, four of the five hospitals reviewed were not following established policies regarding compensation for patient employees. The auditors also found that the mental health hospitals were using seclusion and restraint measures to excess, and that a number of factors were causing delays in getting mentally retarded patients placed in community facilities when they no longer need institutionalized care and treatment.Recommendations call for the Department to review and reduce the hospitals’ use of seclusion and restraint measures. Also the Department is to ensure that hospital staff refer patients who are ready for community-based treatment to area office social workers for placement on a more timely basis. Other recommendations are intended to ensure that standard patient rights policies are adopted and that patients are treated uniformly and consistently.
This sunset audit concludes that Kansas needs State energy programs to promote energy conservation and develop plans for energy emergencies, and to disburse federal and State funds for cost-effective conservation programs. The audit shows, however, that the energy programs administered by the Energy Office haven’t been very effective.The Office’s energy information and emergency preparedness programs are inadequate; they do not establish a priority system for allocating available energy resources in the event of an emergency. Further, most of the conservation programs haven’t been evaluated to determine which ones are cost-beneficial.
Kansas Corporation Commission: Mined-Land Regulatory Program
This report concludes that State regulation over strip mining of coal should be continued. Without a regulatory program to ensure that mined land is reclaimed, harm can occur both to land and to people because of safety hazards, water pollution, erosion, and loss of income from unproductive land.
Follow-up Audit Report Kansas Commission on Civil Rights
This report is one in a series of school district audits. At the direction of the Legislative Post Audit Committee and the Task Force on School Finance, LPA has addressed a wide variety of subjects in the operation of the districts, ranging from budgeting practices to class sizes and transportation programs. Basic findings: The district’s financial picture appears healthy; its carry-over fund balances reflect its ability to finance construction and renovation projects and still maintain funds to cover expenses; and the General Fund expenditures are comparable to other districts its size. Transfers from the General Fund, although necessary to support day-to-day operations of some programs financed through special revenue funds, significantly increase the amount of State aid going to support programs that already receive State categorical aid. The district complied with most State laws and guidelines for purchasing items and managing funds, but was not in compliance in a few instances. The number of staff positions has declined in recent years, though not as much as the decline in enrollment. Salaries for classroom teachers and for principals are lower than the averages for other districts. The current level of staffing for teachers appears comparable to districts of similar size, but the level of staffing for administrators appears high. The district’s minimum requirements for graduation from high school exceed the State’s minimum, and its course offerings are extensive. By shifting grade levels at its middle and elementary schools, the district can close some of its elementary schools. The district provides transportation to large numbers of students it is not required by law to transport. Federal cutbacks in the school lunch program, together with rising costs, mean that the district will have to find additional funds to keep the school lunch program solvent in the future. School officialns currently do not verify information on most applications for free or reduced price meals.
Special Education and Other Matters-Wamego School District
Because of litigation over access to strdent records, Legilative Post Audit had to suspend its work on the special education portion of the Wamego school district audit. The rest of the audit was issued in 1983. After the matter of acdess was resolved, the auditors returned to complete the suspended portion of the work. Some high school graduates did not meet social studies graduation requirements set by the State. Special education placements and expenditures appeared to be proper, but some improvement is needed in complying with requirements of the specail education program. The district is making further improvements in areas where the auditors found problems.