Budgets and Audits
Budgets are a key component of fiscal planning for a local health department. Health departments are required to develop budgets within the framework established by their county or community health board. In addition, most funders require that program specific budgets be submitted as a part of the funding process. For example, most MDH grant programs require budgets be submitted to the MDH as a part of the grant monitoring process.
All community health boards (CHBs) are subject to state audit requirements if they receive any state funds. That means that all of the agency's books, records, documents, and accounting procedures and practices must be available for examination by the MDH, the legislative auditor, and the state auditor for a minimum period of six years.
In addition, if your agency receives any federal funding from the federal government (either directly or passed through a state agency), you are subject to federal audit guidelines. For example, all CHBs in Minnesota receive federal money in from the Title V Block Grant. Your state or federal grant manager can provide specific information about those guidelines, as they vary based on dollar amounts. As with all legal issues, you should consult your county guidelines, too.
MDH recommends that the CHBs fiscal agent be a county auditor, as county auditors are aware of state audit guidelines and are subject to regular audits. If the CHB instead chooses to name its administrative office or CHS administrator as the fiscal agent, the administrative office or administrator is responsible for ensuring that regular audits occur.
In order to comply with Minnesota Office of Grants Management policies, MDH grant payments for the Local Public Health Act and the federal Title V MCH Block Grant to CHBs will be administered on a reimbursement basis beginning January 1, 2013. MDH will reimburse CHBs for expenses based on invoices submitted to MDH on either a monthly or quarterly basis.
Local public health uses this invoice to report grant expenditures paid for by CHBs and that are eligible for reimbursement under the following programs: Local Public Health Act Grant (Minn. Stat. § 145A.131), Maternal and Child Health Block Grant (Minn. Stat. § 145.882), and Family Home Visiting Programs (Minn. Stat. § 145A.17).
Local public health can download the invoice and instructions online at LPH Act: Invoice and Reconciliation Instructions.