Some law enforcement officers have not complied with statutory training requirements, opening their departments to large potential liabilities. Most agencies are pleased with the content and quality of training offered. But a shortage of funds may keep the Training Center from meeting its statutory obligations, and its physical facilities are deteriorating.
This report lists average classes taught and average hours spent each week in class for all levels of instructor, by school and by department. Graduate teaching assistants served as primary instructors for two-thirds of the 768 courses they were assigned to, mostly in math and English.
About one-fourth of all audited purchases greater than $5,000 were made in violation of State bidding laws. Districts failed to obtain sealed competitive bids, did not award bids to the lowet bidder, or split invoices to keep purchases under $5,000.
Kansas’ patrol coverage has declined since 1980, and it is generally lower than in other states. Some of the reasons why include fewer troopers dedicated to road patrol, a recent federal court ruling, and requests for the State to patrol interstates and highways within city limits. The Highway Patrol must decide what highways it will patrol and what level of coverage it will provide before it can assess staffing needs.
Contracting with a travel agency to make all official out-of-State travel arrangements may be the most cost-effective way to obtain the lowest available rates. Based on one estimate, this option could have cut State travel costs by 14 percent in fiscal year 1985, or as much as $655,000. Other options discussed in the report are less cost effective.
Reorganization had a significant effect on the staffing and organization of the bureaus within the Division. The Department generally tried to minimize any negative impact on persons displaced from their positions, and most actions were handled according to applicable personnel requirements. Although management thinks the reorganization goals have largely been achieved, most employees do not share this perception.
Noxious Weeds Law: A Review of Counties’ Enforcement Efforts
The Board of Agriculture has not taken an active role in ensuring adequate enforcement, and in many cases the counties are not fully enforcing or complying with the law. Revisions to both the law and the existing program could enhance enforcement, but most options have associated costs for the State.
More than half the 131 advisory bodies discussed in this report were created by agency heads within the last five years. These groups spent $772,000 in fiscal year 1985. Nearly 90 percent of this amount was incurred by just 14 groups. However, all but one of these groups are required by State or federal law.
The number and dollar amount of claimed losses have increased rapidly since 1981, primarily at the universities. Improvements by State agencies to tighten controls should help minimize losses, if those controls are consistently followed. The audit presents alternatives for controlling escalating surety bond premium costs.
Promotion and Research Projects Funded by the Kansas Wheat Commission
The Commission enters into contracts it thinks will benefit the marketing of Kansas wheat. Contracts are adequately monitored, but improvements are possible. Several recent studies indicate that the commission’s expenditures on foreign promotion are probably cost effective.
This audit follows up on a 1982 performance audit. Some recommended changes have been made, but improvements are needed in the areas of licensing warehouses and enforcing public warehouse laws. The Department can also improve its personnel practices and documentation.
The Board of Healing Arts and the Health Care Stabilization Fund
Improvements are needed in the procedures for reporting cases of incompetent or impaired practitioners to the Board, and in the Board’s procedures for protecting the public against unprofessional, improper, or unqualified practitioners. This audit also examines recent trends in the balance of the Health Care Stabilization Fund.
In fiscal year 1984, State agenices could have purchased an additional $54,000 worth of paint products and $359,000 worth of soap products from prison factories. Local units of government also offer a huge potential market. The audit presents several options for expanding and encouraging sales.
Poorly maintained clinical records made health care needs difficult to assess. This audit suggests ways to provide more effective and lower-cost health care services. Decisions on further actions may need to wait on improved information.
Based on volume of calls, many WATS lines are not cost justified. But State and federal laws mandating their use, the emergence of “hotlines,” and other factors dictate that alternatives be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The audit examines some of these alternatives.
Prison populations are over the Department’s stated maximum. If population forecasts are accurate, current building and renovating efforts will provide little long-term relief. The prisons have the space to hold more inmates, but small cells, sanitary restrictions, and security and safety reasons often preclude further crowding.
Personal use of the KANS-A-N telephone system is significant and widespread. Based on random samples of calls, the auditors estimate that the State pays at least $158,000 annually for unauthorized personal calls. No regulations governing KANS-A-N have ever been adopted and no criminal statutes prohibit personal use of the system. Abuse could be minimized by adopting rules and regulations specifying sanctions against personal use, and by setting up central audit procedures to monitor the system.
The legislature authorized the enterprise zone program in 1982 as a means to encourage economic development in distressed areas of Kansas cities. The Department of Economic Development’s interpretations of the Enterprise Zone Act, especially since its amendment in 1983, have allowed some areas to receive enterprise zone designations which may not meet the spirit of the statutory requirements.
This audit reviews the workloads of full-time faculty at four State colleges and universities. One result of the study was that full-time faculty reported an average of nearly 54 hours of work during the surveyed week. The audit showed that there is no formal policy Statewide to ensure that faculty members can communicate effectively in English. The audit also examined the extent to which graduate teaching assistants share the teaching load with full-time faculty members.
Oversight of the Soldiers Home is exercised primarily by the Veterans Commission. Actions are needed to help ensure that current residents’ needs are met and that the quality of care they receive is consistent with State standards. Projected increases in veteran residents can be accommodated in the existing facilities, but capital improvements will be needed.
Administrative Office Procedures at the Department of Economic Development
The department is not fully in compliance with affirmative action requirements or with State regulation relating to posting position vacancies, completing performance evaluations and reviewing position descriptions. The audit recommends changes to address these issues.
Operations at the State Printng Plant, Part II: Production Management
A review of the production management procedures in place at the Division showed that there were problems which resulted in missed deadlines as well as substantial idle time. Recommendations were made to improve efficiency through better scheduling and monitoring procedures.
Reviewing Accountability for Protesting Unemployment Claims
In seven of the eight agencies reviewed, a specific person has been assigned to review unemployment claims. Little training and few guidelines have been provided for properly responding to claims. The audit describes steps planned by the Department of Human Resources to assist agencies in responding to unemployment claims.
Options for Containing Special Education Costs in Kansas
The primary reason for increased costs special education appears to be increases in the number of teaching units. The increased costs feed directly into the formula to determine excess costs. The audit presents several options to reduce the State’s special education expenditures. The audit also recommends that the Department of Education collect full time equivalent student information by category, and budget information by program.
Although no federal or State laws require State agenices to correct asbestos problems, the Department of Human Resources voluntarily conducts asbestos inspections in public buildings. If the proposed Asbestos Control Program were funded, all asbestos duties would be transferred to the Department of Health and Environment through an agreement between the two agencies.
Several functions within the State Treasurer’s Office are examined in this audit. The report recommends improved procedures for administering the State’s Unclaimed Property Act. Also, it suggests further study before State moneys are invested in out-of-state banks.
Pre-Release Centers Operated By the Department of Corrections
The department placed 352 inmates in the Topeka and Winfield pre-release centers during fiscal year 1984. Among other findings, the report shows that one inmate in six had not been officially classified as minimum custody prior to placement. Actions are recommended to correct the problems.
Operations at the State Printing Plant, Part I: Financial Management
Because of problems with the Division’s cost accountng system, at least $70,000 in costs were not recovered during the first six months of fiscal year 1985. The report makes several recommendations to the Division to address these problems and to bring the accounting system into line with generally accepted accounting principles.
Higher motor fuel taxes in fiscal year 1984 resulted in an $18.4 million Statewide increase in revenues distributed to cities and counties for local roads and highways . Only two of 12 localities reviewed clearly decreased their local taxing effort; most maintained or increased their local revenues. Increases in expenditures from special local road funds ranged from three percent to 140 percent.
Administration of the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program
Significant errors, miscalculations, and problems in the Department’s computations affected all community improvement grants reviewed. As a result, the outcome of the first year’s grant awards may have been substantially affected. Corrective action is needed to assure continued federal funding and to restore the Department’s credibility with local communities. Recommendations are made to correct these problems.
Inventory of Computer Equipment: Department of Revenue
Nearly all of the Department’s computer equipment is leased, much of it directly from the Division of Information Systems and Communications. Major ongoing costs are for salaries and wages and data processing services. The Department submits an annual inventory of computer equipment to the Division. That inventory was quite accurate.
Alternatives to State Ownership of the Santa Fe Office Building
This audit reviews the costs to the State of owning and operating the building, and the possible advantages of allowing a private developer to buy and renovate the building and lease it back to the State. It appears the lease option could be a less costly alternative and is worth investigating further.
KANS-A-N Telephone Calls at Winfield State Hospital (100-hour audit)
Allegations that the Superintendent of Winfield State Hospital made improper long distance telephone calls on the KANS-A-N system were substantiated by this audit. The report recommends procedures to ensure proper usage of KANS-A-N lines in the future.