Audit finds flaws in Minnesota spending on COVID response


Erica Dischino, Star Tribune

The audit, among other things, noted the Minnesota Department of Health's inaccurate inventory of supplies, such as COVID-19 tests.

An audit of nearly $400 million in pandemic-response spending found instances in which Minnesota agencies exceeded emergency authority or failed to properly document purchases or track supplies.

The purchases were made in 2020 and 2021 during an unprecedented public health emergency, and amid time pressures to respond to the spread of COVID-19. State agencies still had responsibilities to ensure the public's money was well-spent, perhaps even more so as emergency increases in state and federal funding raised the risk of misuse, said Lori Leysen, a financial audit deputy in the Office of the Legislative Auditor.

"Having strong controls is even more important than ever," she said, "because you're creating the potential opportunity for fraud, waste and abuse."


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