# Iowa Department Of Administrative Services



Exclusive: Iowa's late reporting jeopardized universities' federal funds

The state of Iowa’s chronic lateness in producing financial reports threatened to disrupt the flow of federal funds to Iowa’s universities this year, documents obtained by Bleeding Heartland show.

For the third year in a row, the state will be more than six months late to publish its Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR), which the Iowa Department of Administrative Services compiles. As of June 26, only six states had not published their comprehensive financial reports for fiscal year 2022 (see appendix 2 below).

The delay has pushed back the publication of Iowa’s statewide Single Audit, a mandatory annual report for non-federal entities that spend a certain amount of federal dollars.

To address concerns raised by the U.S. Department of Education, state auditors worked out an arrangement to produce individual FY2022 Single Audit reports for Iowa’s three state universities by the end of June. The State Auditor’s office released the first of those reports, covering the University of Iowa, on June 27.

Going forward, state auditors will prepare separate Single Audit reports for each Iowa university by March 31, the federal deadline for providing such documentation.

A notice posted in January on the EMMA website, the leading source for data and documents related to municipal bonds, did not clarify why Iowa’s ACFR would be late again. Tami Wiencek, public information officer for the Department of Administrative Services, has not replied to inquiries about the reason for the extended delay. Records indicate that staff turnover at the agency has derailed what was for many years a smooth process.

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Key state financial report four months late, not near completion

More than four months after the usual publication date of December 31, Iowa’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2021 is nowhere in sight.

It’s the second straight year that the detailed report on state finances is far behind schedule. The ACFR must be completed before many other annual audits of state government entities can be conducted.

For decades, Iowa routinely published the report within six months of the end of the previous fiscal year. That time frame earned the state a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the leading organization for government finance officers.

CAUSE OF DELAY STILL UNCLEAR

The report for fiscal year 2020 was delayed for about nine months, mostly because of accounting problems at Iowa State University. But the university told Bleeding Heartland in January that ISU “submitted all year-end financials, responded to audit questions and completed recommended changes for the final financial statements by Nov. 12, 2021.” That’s only about six weeks after the deadline for most state government entities to send fiscal year-end data to the Iowa Department of Administrative Services.

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Senator: State withholds info on sexual harassment complaints

Iowa’s human resources agency will not release certain statistics on pending sexual harassment or hostile workplace complaints involving state government employees, Democratic State Senator Janet Petersen revealed this week.

Speaking to fellow senators on April 25, Petersen expressed concern about how many complaints continue to be filed, despite Governor Kim Reynolds’ stated “zero tolerance” policy on harassment.

She said the Department of Administrative Services told her there are 199 pending cases but refused to break down the numbers by type of complaint or class of employee affected. Senators have not even been told whether any of Reynolds’ nominees or appointed agency directors have been the subject of a workplace environment investigation.

Petersen also faulted the DAS for not informing those who initiate cases about the agency’s findings.

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Iowa's annual financial report late again; agencies mum on why

For the second straight year, the state of Iowa missed a deadline for releasing a detailed report on state finances. Officials publicly acknowledged the delay last week but have not explained why the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for fiscal year 2021 is not complete.

Staff at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, which compiles this report, have not responded to five inquiries from Bleeding Heartland about the matter over the past two weeks. Staff at the Iowa Department of Management, which prepared a public notice about the late report, likewise ignored three attempts to clarify the source of the problem.

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Exclusive: Other agencies covered $900K in governor's office costs

Governor Kim Reynolds’ office was able to spend nearly 40 percent more than its $2.3 million budget appropriation during the last fiscal year, mostly by shifting personnel costs onto other state agencies.

Documents Bleeding Heartland obtained through public records requests show that eight state agencies covered $812,420.83 in salaries and benefits for nine employees in the governor’s office from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. In addition, the Office for State-Federal Relations in Washington, DC remained understaffed, as it has been throughout Reynolds’ tenure. The vacant position should allow roughly $85,000 in unspent funds to be used to balance the rest of the governor’s office budget, as happened last year.

The governor’s communications director Pat Garrett did not respond to four inquiries over the past two weeks related to the office budget. But records indicate that unlike in 2020, federal COVID-19 relief funds will not be tapped to cover salaries for Reynolds’ permanent staffers in fiscal year 2021.

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Governor holds over agency directors Iowa Senate didn't confirm

In an unusual move, Governor Kim Reynolds is allowing two state agency directors she appointed early this year to continue serving through next year’s legislative session, even though they lacked the votes to be confirmed by the Iowa Senate.

Reynolds withdrew the nominations of Department of Management Director Michael Bousselot and Department of Administrative Services Director Adam Steen shortly before state lawmakers adjourned for the year in May. Days later, she rejected the directors’ resignations, saying she would resubmit their names to the Senate in 2022, documents obtained through public records requests show.

The governor’s office has not publicly announced Reynolds’ decision to hold over Bousselot and Steen and did not respond to Bleeding Heartland’s inquiries.

The Department of Management handles state budget planning as well as disbursements from Iowa’s general fund and various other funds. The Department of Administrative Services handles human resources, payroll, and procurement of goods and services for state government.

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