In recent years, Kansas agencies spent about $5 billion annually in monetary and nonmonetary support from federally funded programs. Federally funded programs will require Kansas agencies to spend an estimated $2 billion on cost-sharing obligations in fiscal year 2016. Beyond that, we did not identify any significant unfunded mandates, although there are restrictions tied to the use of federal funds. Federally funded programs typically impose administrative requirements on state agencies, although most of these costs can be paid for with program funds. They also often include conditions on how state agencies can spend federal funds. Most programs have penalty or repayment clauses if state agencies fail to meet these conditions or program requirements. In addition, we found examples where the federal government has tied some national policy objectives to federal funds and states’ efforts to challenge those policies have had mixed results.
CDDOs: Reviewing Issues Related to Community Services Provided for Individuals with Disabilities
The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) is responsible for administering the developmental disability waiver system. This includes providing oversight of the state’s 27 community developmental disability organizations (CDDOs). CDDOs act as gatekeepers because they are the single point of entry, eligibility determination, and referral for any individual seeking developmental disability waiver services.
In addition to the gatekeeping function, 21 of 27 CDDOs also provide direct services through their own community service provider, which creates an inherent conflict of interest. CDDOs have made some efforts to mitigate this inherent conflict of interest, but stakeholders still cite unfair advantages. For the areas we assessed, we found no direct evidence that CDDOs are taking advantage of this inherent conflict. We did find that the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services provides weak oversight for CDDOs in several areas. A bill currently pending would prohibit CDDOs from providing direct services, which could eliminate the inherent conflict of interest. Lastly, the newly implemented KanCare system has added an additional layer to the developmental disability system, but on its own will not address the inherent conflict of interest.
In fiscal year 2014, CDDO regions will receive about $360 million to provide services to about 8,700 individuals with developmental disabilities. We found that consolidating CDDOs could reduce administrative costs by about $500,000 to $800,000 a year. Kansas also could increase federal revenues by up to $6.5 million a year by redirecting $5 million in state aid. However, this policy choice would have significant impact on many Kansans. We found that several CDDOs spend funds on lobbying-related activities, which appears to violate federal and contractual requirements. Finally, KDADS does little to monitor CDDOs’ administrative expenditures for the developmental disability waiver.
State Agency Information Systems: Reviewing Security Controls in Selected State Agencies (CY2013)
Agency staff continue to struggle with two key areas we have audited before: ensuring servers and workstations are patched to prevent vulnerabilities, and having an adequate plan in place to be able to continue operations in the event of an emergency. Overall, we reviewed seven IT security processes across eight agencies and saw that some agencies are more committed to IT security than others. While all agencies could make improvements to their processes to help ensure confidential information is protected, agencies most committed to IT security were the agencies more likely to have strong IT security processes in place protect their confidential information.
Office of the Attorney General: Reviewing Its Role in Overseeing Enforcement of State Architectural Accessibility Laws (limited-scope audit)
The State aligned its accessibility law with the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1994. Various State and local agencies are assigned to enforce the Act; the role of the Attorney General’s Office is to oversee enforcement. Our work focused on the Attorney General’s handling of written complaints, which are referred to State and local enforcement agencies for investigation. Our review of the 12 written accessibility complaints the Office received from July 2004 to December 2005 found that the Office’s actions weren’t always timely or thorough. Three-fourths of the complaints weren’t referred to the enforcement agency for more than 30 days after they were received. For three complaints, the Office didn’t take appropriate action when the enforcement agency failed to report back to it. Most complaints reportedly resulted in some changes to facilities’ accessibility, but the Attorney General’s Office can’t always tell from the information the enforcement agencies send back whether complaints were resolved in accordance with State law.
Medicaid Cost Containment: Controlling Fraud and Abuse
This audit, conducted by Bland & Associates under contract with Legislative Post Audit, looked at the State's system for controlling Medicaid fraud and abuse. The report noted several positive aspects of that system, but also found a number of serious problems. The part of the system dealing with identification of potential fraud and abuse involves the surveillance and review function, which the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services has contracted out to Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The effectiveness of that effort is questionable because generally there's no follow-up on information generated by that effort that could point to problems, the focus of the work isn't on the highest risk or most lucrative areas, and there's not much additional analysis outside the standard reports. At least in part, that's because the Department hasn't provided sufficient guidance and direction to that effort, and hasn't followed good contract-management practices. The part of the system dealing with investigation and prosecution of fraud and abuse is handled by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division. Limited to responding only to referrals it gets, that Division is significantly underutilized. This audit didn't attempt to assess the extent to which fraud and abuse is occurring in Kansas. Such an assessment would involve significant effort, but the auditors think that effort would be worth it.
Seized Property in Kansas: Determining Whether Laws Governing the Sale of Property Are Being Followed, and How the Proceeds Are Spent
Under State law, Kansas law enforcement agencies can seize money or property used in the commission of certain crimes, such as drug offenses. If that money or property is subsequently forfeited, the law enforcement agency can keep, sell, or destroy it. The 6 agencies we reviewed during this audit properly disposed of forfeited property, whether they retained it for official use or sold it. However, several agencies didn't follow appropriate procedures in handling forfeiture moneys: 4 agencies commingled forfeiture moneys from different sources, 1 county sheriff's office improperly deposited forfeiture moneys into a local bank account, and another sheriff's office paid attorney fees with seized money that hadn't yet been forfeited. Despite these problems, all 6 agencies spent forfeiture money in accordance with State and federal guidelines. While forfeiture money isn't a major source of income for most law enforcement agencies, it did allow agencies to buy computers, vehicles, and other equipment to aid in law enforcement activities.
Compliance and Control Audit: Attorney General's Office
About $4.5 million of the $12 million the Attorney General’s Office has spent on water rights litigation since 1984 has been paid to outside attorneys, and most of the remainder has been paid to various experts such as hydrologists and engineers. Not included in the costs are hundreds of thousands of dollars for salaries of State employees who worked on the lawsuit. In several recent years, the Governor and the Legislature chose to partially fund the costs of the lawsuit through supplemental appropriations because of the difficulty in predicting the costs during the regular budgetary cycle. Recent increases in the Attorney General’s budget haven’t been caused by the lawsuit. Since taking office, the Attorney General has awarded contracts to 55 outside attorneys or firms to perform legal work on the State’s behalf. Most of those contracts were awarded because conflicts of interest prevented the Attorney General’s staff from handling the case, and most of those attorneys received a standard fixed fee of $75-$85 per hour. New billing guidelines adopted by the Attorney General should help control legal costs. The Office has no formal procedures for awarding contracts to outside attorneys, but we didn’t find any violation of the State’s conflict of interest laws in its awarding of contracts. Although many contracts were awarded to former associates and campaign contributors, others were awarded to firms who didn’t make campaign contributions. Because hiring former associates or campaign contributors can create an appearance of favoritism, the Attorney General’s Office would benefit from a more formal process that demonstrates that all interested and qualified firms were considered for legal work.
Reviewing the Effectiveness of the Domestic Violence Laws in Kansas
A 1991 State law focuses on domestic violence as a crime, and requires law enforcement centers to report all incidents of domestic violence to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. For a variety of reasons, however, the Bureau’s statistics aren’t complete. Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and program directors reported that the number of domestic violence calls hasn’t changed since 1991. The number of arrests has risen since then, apparently because of the law’s mandatory arrest provision which has increased the courts’ involvement, and increased the likelihood that abusers will be referred to programs that might help them. People we spoke with pointed out that some judges aren’t adapting as well as others to the viewpoint that domestic violence is a crime, and suggested additional training to improve the situation. Program directors report that victims of domestic violence are faring better; however, because of the mandatory arrest requirement, some victims won’t call the police because they don’t want the offender arrested. People we talked with offered numerous recommendations and suggestions to help decrease or stop domestic violence in Kansas.
In fiscal year 1992, the Bureau provided record checks and laboratory services to local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies at a cost to the State of about $2.2 million. Like other states, the Bureau has a policy of providing services to these agencies at no charge. The Bureau also provided about 120,000 record checks to non-criminal-justice agencies at a cost of about $650,000. Like other states, the Bureau charges a fee for these services. Because the Department of Health and Environment refuses to pay for its record checks, other agencies end up paying higher fees than necessary and the Bureau still does not collect enough money to fully recover its costs.
NHUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, KANSAS BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION, BOARD OF INDIGENTS' DEFENSE SERVICES, COMMISSION ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS
Determining the Costs to the Attorney General’s Office to Defend Two Recent Lawsuits (100-hour audit)
We found that the Attorney General's Office incurred total costs of about $25,000 to defend the first lawsuit and about $39,300 on the second lawsuit, for a total of $64,300. These costs include staff attorneys' salaries and fringe benefits, overhead costs, payments to outside counsel, and other direct costs to the Attorney General's Office. We also found that staff attorneys in the Attorney General's Office spent about 261 hours on the first case and 938 hours on the second case.
Governmental agencies and private organizations that use the services of offenders sentenced by the courts to do community work can be held liable in cases of injury or damages. Community service workers are not covered by worker’s compensation. Although liability insurance is available, not all agencies or organizations have it. The audit also discusses other factors that can limit the use of community service programs, and suggests options for dealing with them.
Management Audit of State Funded Pharmacies and Drug Rooms
Published: JULY, 1975
Twenty Percent Assessments on Fee Funds to Reimburse the General Revenue Fund
At the September 11, 1972 meeting of the Legislative Post Audit Committee, discussion was given to the fact that certain fee funds are not being assessed a percentage of their gross receipts for payment to the general funds to cover administrative cross-servicing costs of other agencies in support of fee fund transactions. Those fee funds which are assessed are levied at the rate of 20 percent of their gross receipts. As directed, this report needs to identify the non-20 percent fee funds and presents a comparative discussion covering all fee funds in regard to assessments for indirect costs. The disposition of fees and monies paid into the state treasury are governed by statute; therefore, unless the statute pertaining to a particular fee fund so specifically provides, no assessment on the fund for indirect costs is made.