The Lottery did not have adequate and consistent internal controls in some key areas, and the agency's purchasing procedures may have allowed it to circumvent some external controls, such as limitations on expenditures for official hospitality. Further, the Lottery's relationships with vendors did not always appear to be at arm's-length. The Lottery has not experienced significant problems with most major contracts, but the agency did have problems obtaining adequate hardware, software, and consulting services for the instant ticket games.
Faculty Salaries in Kansas and the Resources Committed to Pay Them
On a per-credit-hour basis, both the University of Kansas and Kansas State University had less money than the average of their peer schools to spend on faculty salaries during fiscal year 1987. Kansas schools receive more of their funding from the State General Fund than the average of the peer schools. Factors that may impact on the amount of money available for faculty salaries in Kansas include a somewhat lower tax effort, a large postsecondary student population, and a somewhat smaller portion of the State budget going to support higher education. If adjusted for the cost of living, faculty salaries in Kansas appear to provide comparable or better purchasing power than in most of the peer states.
County extension agents spend most of their time on 4-H and youth activities, even though the Legislature has made it clear on several occasions that agriculture should be the main focus of extension programs in Kansas. The agents' priorities are primarily set by local officials. Other states put a greater proportion of state money into their extension programs than Kansas, and have a correspondingly greater amount of State control over those programs.
Off-Campus Courses Offered by Kansas’ Community Colleges
The number of academic off-campus courses has grown substantially since a previous audit. Most of the growth occurred in English, speech, and mathematics courses. For the Spring 1988 off-campus classes sampled, total revenue were almost twice the total costs incurred by the colleges. All the community colleges take steps to ensure the quality of off-campus courses, and off-campus students indicate they are highly satisfied with the quality of courses they have taken. The audit makes recommendations to the Department of Education for ensuring that off-campus classes are approved as required by the policies of the State Board of Education.
Improving the System for Providing Mental Health Programs and Services in Kansas
The system in Kansas for providing mental health services anticipates that mentally ill people will be served in the communities when warranted. However, gaps and insufficiencies in community services prevent the system from working as intended. To provide comprehensive, integrated mental health services that minimize use of the State mental health hospitals, the Legislature will need to consider options in the areas of providing additional funding for community services for the seriously mentally ill, shifting resources from the State mental hospitals to community services, and establishing a single authority over the system. The report also makes recommendation to the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services to improve its screening and aftercare services.
State Agencies’ Handling of Water Contamination and Pollution Problems in Kansas
Water experts indicate that Kansas’ water quality is good overall, but instances of contamination exist throughout the State. Three State agencies have primary responsiblities for ensuring the quality of the State’s water. The system for maintaining water quality imposes many requirements on these agencies before contamination is identified, but allows substantial discretionary authority afterwards. An in-depth review of seven contaminated sites showed that State agencies generally did what they were required to do to minimize or prevent pollution at the sites, but that they generally did not use the discretionary authority they had for a number of reasons.
Kansans may be registering their vehicles out of State because property taxes are higher in Kansas than in the surrounding states. Officials from most of the 20 counties surveyed did not think out-of-State registration was a significant problem. However, Wyandotte County’s enforcement program collects about $1 million annually, and Johnson and Sedgwick Counties are considering enforcement programs. The auditors could not determine the extent of out-of-State registrations because county officials generally could not estimate how many Kansans are registering vehicles in other states.
Vendor Discounts to State Agencies (100-hour audit)
State agencies sometimes fail to take advantage of vendor discounts available to them, but the magnitude of the discounts lost does not appear to be significant overall. Out of a sample of 213 purchases totaling approximately $194,000, the auditors found that State agencies failed to take advantage of 12 discounts, representing a cost of $160. Most discounts lost were prompt payment discounts for which the agency failed to meet the payment deadline. If the auditors’ sample were representative of the State as a whole, the auditors estimate that the fiscal year 1987 loss to the State for the types of goods included in the sample would have been about $70,000 out of approximately $53 million in purchases.
On average, it takes about six calendar days from the time the Lottery receives a winning ticket in the mail until a State warrant is mailed to the winner. Lottery processing procedures account for about four of those days and the process of creating the warrant at Accounts and Reports accounts for the other rwo days. Most other States contacted--11 of 17--pay prize money faster than Kansas if a lottery ticket is hand-carried into their lottery offices. However, for tickets which must be mailed in for processing, Kansas pays faster than 10 of the 17 states surveyed. Thirteen of the 17 states have authority to write their own checks, and nine states have some sort of debt set-off program.
Reviewing the Way State Agencies Collect Delinquent Accounts
Statewide requirements for collecting, reporting, and writing off amounts owed to the State have improved somewhat in the past 11 years, but complete information about agencies’ accounts receivable is just beginning to be collected. Most of the six agency programs reviewed are required to follow additional collection procedures that go beyond the State’s minimum requirements, and all of them use the State’s set-off program as part of their collection procedures. Statewide procedures for the management of delinquent accounts and specific agencies’ collection procedures can both be improved.
Reviewing the Health Care Plan for State Employees, Part II: Controls and Use
State employees covered by the traditional plan had higher use rates than all Blue Cross subscribers State wide, but when all State employees were recombined into one group (to include those covered by both the traditional plan and a health maintenance organization), their use rate was about the same as all Blue Cross subscribers Statewide. Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s 1987 controls were adequate to ensure that employee claims were processed and paid accurately.
Public Transportation Services for the Elderly and Handicapped in Kansas
Because State agencies do not require local transportation providers to take any specific coordination actions, the current Kansas system results in significant overlap and inefficiency at the local level. All parts of the State apparently have unmet needs for transportation services for the elderly and handicapped. Some Department of Transportation policies are more restrictive than federal requirements, and may limit local agencies’ flexibility to meet the transportation needs of their clients.
More than 143,000 vehicle identification number inspections were done in fiscal year 1987. Inspection services are available in all counties, but in some the hours of operation are limited. Controls over the program appear to be adequate, but not all controls are being strictly adhered to. The fee charged for inspections generally covers the labor and overhead costs, and the $277,000 the State received from the inspections appeared to cover the estimated costs of administering the program.
Reflective Sheeting Used in Highway Construction Zones
In 1987, an estimated 227,500 square feet of high-performance reflective sheeting was used on the signs, drums, and barricades for all projects awarded by the Department of Transportation and the Turnpike Authority, at an estimated cost of about $631,000. This figure represents about one-fourth of one percent of the $232 million projected cost of the highway contracts awarded by these two entities in 1987. The Federal Highway Administration recommends the use of high-performance sheeting on traffic control devices in construction zones primarily for safety reasons. However, most contractors surveyed did not think that high-performance sheeting improved safety in construction zones. Finally, the Department has not adopted a policy addressing the types of pavement marking materials to be used in construction zones, nor has it fully analyzed the cost-effectiveness of durable materials.
The State currently employs about 221 classified and unclassified attorneys---55 more than it did five years ago. Most of the additional attorneys were hired to defend indigent clients and to enforce child support laws. Expenditures for contracted legal work have risen from about $4.6 million to slightly more than $7 million in the past five years. In some cases, agencies could have employed a full-time attorney or part-time attorney for the amount they spent for relatively few hours of legal work. The report recommends that the Department of Administration and the Attorney General’s Office jointly review the legal needs of State agencies to ensure that services are obtained in the most cost-effective manner.
Client Abuse Reporting Systems, Part III: Reviewing Implementation of Previous Audit Recommendations (100-hour audit)
The Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services has fully implemented only two of the 11 recommendations made to it in the September 1987 audit report, Client Abuse Reporting Systems, Part II: Parsons and Norton State Hospitals and Neurological Institute. As of January 25, 1988, implementation was planned or had been partially achieved for all but one of the remaining nine recommendations.
Reviewing the Usefulness of State Reception and Diagnostic Center Evaluations
Users indicate that the Center’s evaluations are useful, but that the recommendations cannot always be followed because of overcrowding in treatment programs. The Center’s evaluations contain some of the same information as the courts’ pre-sentence investigations, but they often provide additional information that users say they need. Moving the evaluation function to the Penitentiary and Reformatory would not be more cost-effective because evaluation costs would be shifted to those facilities and the Diagnostic Center would still be operated as a small prison with high costs. Finally, the Department has not established procedures to ensure that evaluations of men and women are substantially equal.
Determining the Effect of Eliminating University Degrees and Programs
Between 1983 and 1987, the Board of Regents and the State universities eliminated or modified 185 individual degrees and made16 additional changes to departments or subject areas. Of those changes, 29 allowed the universities to reallocate a total of about $1 million to other university activities. The remaining changes generally did not affect the numbers of faculty and courses, often because another degree was still offered in the same subject area.