Connecticut’s Judicial Branch has been found lacking in certain fiscal controls, including a misreporting of accounts receivable totaling more than $13 million.
The findings were part of a new audit report released Thursday that found five problems with the department’s financial systems. Of those five, four were repeated from previous reports, meaning they had not been properly dealt with in that time.
The largest issue came from that accounts receivable error. Fourteen out of 15 accounts reviewed by the state’s Auditor of Public Accounts included reporting errors. According to the report, the Judicial Branch reported more than $20 million in receivables from various accounts. The 15 reviewed were selected by the auditors, totaling $14.7 million. In those accounts, the auditors found $13.7 million in over-reported amounts.
In its response to the findings, the agency claimed that the Financial Services Unit misunderstood what data was relevant to reporting accurate balances. It promised to correct the error going forward and to submit a revised report to the state.
This finding was the only one not repeated from previous audits and represented the largest error by far.
Additional findings included a lack of approvals for overtime in the department Out of 618 overtime hours reviewed by the auditors, 418 were not approved by a supervisor. The hours totaled $21,765 paid to seven juvenile residential services employees. Auditors reported that the employees had received verbal approval after hours and paperwork was submitted the following day. This was an issue between 2017 and 2020 as well.
Auditors also found that the department lacked approvals for about 9% of audited compensatory time and lacked adequate support for grievance counsel payments.Finally, auditors found that the Judicial Branch lacked a sufficient Disaster Recovery Plan, which “identifies relevant assets, documents backup processes, and provides a detailed description that prioritizes the process, timing, and personnel to restore the information technology systems.”