Equitable Sharing Activities of the Marion County Justice Agency
Marion County, Indiana
Report No. GR-50-04-009
Office of the Inspector General
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, has completed an audit of the DOJ equitable sharing activities at the Marion County, Indiana Justice Agency (MCJA). The audit was performed at the request of the DOJ Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section to address internal control deficiencies cited by independent auditors since 1994 and an accounting error reported in 2002.
Equitable sharing revenues represent a share of the proceeds from the forfeiture of assets seized in the course of certain criminal investigations to the state and local law enforcement agencies that participate in the effort.1 In Marion County, Indiana, four law enforcement agencies are actively involved in the equitable sharing program.2 The MCJA is not a law enforcement agency; thus, it cannot participate directly in the program. The MCJA's involvement is limited to an administrative role and includes providing guidance to the participating agencies, ensuring equitable sharing receipts are forwarded to the appropriate city or county office for deposit, approving the participating agencies' request to spend equitably shared funds, and maintaining records and reporting on all equitably shared funds received and disbursed. Between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2003, the MCJA processed $681,258 of equitable sharing receipts for its participating agencies and approved disbursements totaling $1,304,057.3
Based on our review, we determined that, in general, the MCJA adequately accounted for equitable sharing funds it received and disbursed and the $600,000 accounting error reported in 2002 did not affect the fund balances reported on the components' Annual Certification Reports. However, cash-handling and record-keeping duties at the MCJA were not adequately separated and its procedures for receipts, disbursements, record-keeping, and preparing reports were not formalized in writing. Further, through our observation and testing of the informal procedures, we determined that they do not ensure that: 1) the participating agencies promptly turn funds over to the MCJA for processing, 2) all sharing receipts are properly accounted for by the MCJA or deposited timely, and 3) required reports are accurate and submitted timely. Specifically, we found that:
The results of our work are discussed in greater detail in the Findings and Recommendations section of the report. The audit objectives, scope, and methodology appear in Appendix I.