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Auditor Report on MI DOC Prisoner Intake Process, 2014

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MICHIGAN
OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL

AUDIT REPORT

PERFORMANCE AUDIT
OF THE

PRISONER INTAKE PROCESS
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
April 2014

THOMAS H. MCTAVISH, C.P.A.
AUDITOR GENERAL

471-0225-14

The auditor general shall conduct post audits of financial
transactions and accounts of the state and of all branches,
departments, offices, boards, commissions, agencies,
authorities and institutions of the state established by this
constitution or by law, and performance post audits thereof.
– Article IV, Section 53 of the Michigan Constitution

Audit report information can be accessed at:
http://audgen.michigan.gov

Michigan

Office of the Auditor General
REPORT SUMMARY

Performance Audit
Prisoner Intake Process
Department of Corrections

Report Number:
471-0225-14
Released:
April 2014

The Department of Corrections (DOC) provides intake processing for male and
female prisoners, including youthful offenders. The Charles Egeler Reception and
Guidance Center (RGC), located in Jackson, Michigan, receives all male prisoners.
The Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility (WHV), located in Ypsilanti,
Michigan, receives all female prisoners.
Prisoner intake processing includes
prisoner orientation, educational assessment, psychological assessment, health
assessment, and classification screening.
Audit Objective:
To assess the effectiveness and
efficiency of DOC's efforts to intake
prisoners.
Audit Conclusions:
We concluded that DOC's efforts to
intake prisoners were effective.
We
could not conclude on the efficiency of
DOC's efforts to intake prisoners because
DOC had not developed a performance
standard related to the cost of processing
prisoners through intake. We noted two
reportable conditions (Findings 1 and 2).
Reportable Conditions:
DOC had not developed a comprehensive
continuous quality improvement process
to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness
and efficiency of its prisoner intake
process (Finding 1).
WHV did not coordinate the scheduling of
its intake services. Also, WHV did not
track data related to the timeliness of its
overall intake process (Finding 2).

~~~~~~~~~~

Agency Response:
Our audit report contains 2 findings and
3
corresponding
recommendations.
DOC's preliminary response indicates that
it
agrees
with
all
of
the
recommendations.

~~~~~~~~~~

A copy of the full report can be
obtained by calling 517.334.8050
or by visiting our Web site at:
http://audgen.michigan.gov

Michigan Office of the Auditor General
201 N. Washington Square
Lansing, Michigan 48913
Thomas H. McTavish, C.P.A.
Auditor General
Scott M. Strong, C.P.A., C.I.A.
Deputy Auditor General

STATE OF MICHIGAN

OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL
201 N. W ASHINGTON SQUARE
LANSING, MICHIGAN 48913
(517) 334-8050

THOMAS H. MCTAVISH, C.P.A.

FAX (517) 334-8079

AUDITOR GENERAL

April 18, 2014

Mr. Daniel H. Heyns, Director
Department of Corrections
Grandview Plaza Building
Lansing, Michigan
Dear Mr. Heyns:
This is our report on the performance audit of the Prisoner Intake Process, Department
of Corrections.
This report contains our report summary; a description of process; our audit objective,
scope, and methodology and agency responses and prior audit follow-up; comment,
findings, recommendations, and agency preliminary responses; and a glossary of
abbreviations and terms.
The agency preliminary responses were taken from the agency's response at the end of
our audit fieldwork. The Michigan Compiled Laws and administrative procedures
require that the audited agency develop a plan to comply with the audit
recommendations and submit it within 60 days after release of the audit report to the
Office of Internal Audit Services, State Budget Office. Within 30 days of receipt, the
Office of Internal Audit Services is required to review the plan and either accept the plan
as final or contact the agency to take additional steps to finalize the plan.
We appreciate the courtesy and cooperation extended to us during this audit.
Sincerely,

Thomas H. McTavish, C.P.A.
Auditor General

471-0225-14

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRISONER INTAKE PROCESS
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Page
INTRODUCTION

Report Summary

1

Report Letter

3

Description of Process

6

Audit Objective, Scope, and Methodology and Agency Responses
and Prior Audit Follow-Up

8

COMMENT, FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS,
AND AGENCY PRELIMINARY RESPONSES

Effectiveness and Efficiency of Efforts to Intake Prisoners

12

1.

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Process

13

2.

Timeliness of Prisoner Intake Process

16

GLOSSARY

Glossary of Abbreviations and Terms

20

5
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Description of Process

The Department of Corrections (DOC) provides intake processing for male and female
prisoners, including youthful offenders.
The Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center (RGC), located in Jackson,
Michigan, receives all male prisoners. The Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility
(WHV), located in Ypsilanti, Michigan, receives all female prisoners. Each reception
center acts as the main intake point for prisoners with new sentences and for parolees
returning to prison for violating parole.
Prisoner intake processing includes:
1.

Prisoner Orientation - The reception centers provide information to prisoners
regarding the reception centers' process and their responsibilities within DOC.

2.

Educational Assessment - The reception centers test prisoners to determine their
educational needs. This information is used to better assess and place prisoners
within DOC programs.

3.

Psychological Assessment - The reception centers administer an initial
psychological screening and, if necessary, a psychological evaluation by a licensed
psychologist.

4.

Health Assessment - The reception centers administer an initial health screening,
including complete physical, dental, and vision examinations. This assessment
allows the transfer coordinator to identify special health needs that may affect a
prisoner's placement.

5.

Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions* (COMPAS)
Interview - The reception centers conduct this research-based risk and needs
assessment questionnaire to assist them in the placement, supervision, and case
management of prisoners.

* See glossary at end of report for definition.

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6.

Classification Screening - The reception centers complete each prisoner's initial
classification screening. This screening includes reviewing all of the data gathered
from the prisoner's educational, psychological, and health assessments; COMPAS
interview; history; presentence investigation sheet; and current offense. Based on
this review, the reception centers assign a security classification level (level I, II, IV,
or V) to the respective prisoner.

7.

Parole Board Interview - Beginning in February 2013, the Parole Board meets with
newly incarcerated prisoners whose sentences are greater than 1 year and less
than 10 years and who are not sex offenders. The purpose of this meeting is to
discuss the prisoner's programming goals and to ensure that the prisoner
understands what programming is required of him or her for parole. This also gives
the Parole Board an opportunity to suggest additional programming if it identifies
something else that could assist the prisoner.

8.

Transfer of Prisoner - Based on the classification screening and various program
needs and assessments, the reception centers schedule the prisoners for transfer
to the most appropriate correctional facility.

During fiscal years 2011-12 and 2012-13, RGC processed 13,105 and 10,681 male
prisoners, respectively, and WHV processed 873 and 981 female prisoners,
respectively. For fiscal year 2012-13, RGC and WHV had 295 and 59 employees
involved in the intake process, respectively. RGC and WHV spent $32.1 million and
$4.3 million, respectively, for prisoner intake processing in fiscal year 2012-13.

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Audit Objective, Scope, and Methodology
and Agency Responses and Prior Audit Follow-Up

Audit Objective
The objective of our performance audit* of the Prisoner Intake Process, Department of
Corrections (DOC), was to assess the effectiveness* and efficiency* of DOC's efforts to
intake prisoners.
Audit Scope
Our audit scope was to examine the records and processes related to the administration
of the Department of Corrections' prisoner intake process. We conducted this
performance audit in accordance with generally accepted government auditing
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and
conclusions based on our audit objective. We believe that the evidence obtained
provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit
objective. Our audit procedures, which included a preliminary survey, audit fieldwork,
report preparation, analysis of agency responses, and quality assurance, generally
covered the period August 1, 2010 through September 30, 2013.
Audit Methodology
We conducted a preliminary survey of the prisoner intake process to gain an
understanding of DOC's prisoner intake activities and to establish our audit objectives.
During our preliminary survey, we interviewed DOC prisoner intake management and
staff, reviewed applicable State laws, and examined DOC policies and procedures.
Also, we performed on-site visits of the two reception centers as well as two other
judgmentally selected correctional facilities. We interviewed correctional facility staff to
gain an understanding of how the correctional facilities use prisoner intake information,
and we examined 57 judgmentally selected prisoner records and applicable data to
determine DOC's compliance with the performance and case record documentation
requirements and the timeliness of the overall intake process.
To accomplish our audit objective, we interviewed key DOC prisoner intake staff to
obtain an understanding of the processes they use to ensure compliance with DOC
* See glossary at end of report for definition.

8
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policies and procedures for orientating and assessing prisoners during intake and for
processing prisoners through intake within the required time frame. We reviewed the
57 judgmentally selected prisoner records and obtained data from the Offender
Management Network Information System (OMNI) for all prisoners incarcerated
between August 1, 2010 and September 30, 2013 to verify that DOC completed the
prisoner orientation; the educational, psychological, and health assessments; the
Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS)
interview; and the classification screening and assigned the prisoners to the proper
facility and processed prisoners through intake within the required time frame. Also, we
performed a review of prisoner security classification data, documented in OMNI, to
determine if DOC changed the prisoners' security classification levels within 30, 60, or
90 days of their initial intake classification. In addition, we identified and calculated the
costs associated with processing male and female prisoners. Further, we conducted
research for timeliness standards relating to prisoner intake processing.
When selecting activities or programs for audit, we use an approach based on
assessment of risk and opportunity for improvement. Accordingly, we focus our audit
efforts on activities or programs having the greatest probability for needing improvement
as identified through a preliminary survey. Our limited audit resources are used, by
design, to identify where and how improvements can be made. Consequently, we
prepare our performance audit reports on an exception basis.
Agency Responses and Prior Audit Follow-Up
Our audit report contains 2 findings and 3 corresponding recommendations. DOC's
preliminary response indicates that it agrees with all of the recommendations.
The agency preliminary response that follows each recommendation in our report was
taken from the agency's written comments and oral discussion at the end of our audit
fieldwork. Section 18.1462 of the Michigan Compiled Laws and the State of Michigan
Financial Management Guide (Part VII, Chapter 4, Section 100) require DOC to develop
a plan to comply with the audit recommendations and submit it within 60 days after
release of the audit report to the Office of Internal Audit Services, State Budget Office.
Within 30 days of receipt, the Office of Internal Audit Services is required to review the
plan and either accept the plan as final or contact the agency to take additional steps to
finalize the plan.

9
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We released our prior performance audit of the Prisoner Intake Process, Department of
Corrections (47-225-03), in April 2005. DOC complied with 7 of the 9 prior audit
recommendations, and we rewrote the other 2 prior audit recommendations for inclusion
in Findings 1 and 2 of this audit report.

10
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COMMENT, FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS,
AND AGENCY PRELIMINARY RESPONSES

11
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EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY OF
EFFORTS TO INTAKE PRISONERS
COMMENT
Audit Objective: To assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the Department of
Corrections' (DOC's) efforts to intake prisoners.
Audit Conclusions: We concluded that DOC's efforts to intake prisoners were
effective. We could not conclude on the efficiency of DOC's efforts to intake
prisoners because DOC had not developed a performance standard* related to
the cost of processing prisoners through intake.
Our audit conclusions were based on our audit efforts as described in the audit scope
and audit methodology sections and the resulting reportable conditions* noted in the
comment, findings, recommendations, and agency preliminary responses section.
We noted two reportable conditions in the seven policy areas reviewed. In our
professional judgment, these matters are less severe than a material condition* but
represent opportunities for improvement in DOC's prisoner intake processes. The
reportable conditions related to a continuous quality improvement* (CQI) process and
the timeliness of DOC's prisoner intake process (Findings 1 and 2).
We evaluated the qualitative and quantitative factors of DOC's prisoner intake process,
such as the proper completion of the orientation process; the prisoner educational,
psychological, and health assessments; the initial security classifications; and the
prisoner transfer determinations. Also, we evaluated the timeliness of DOC's prisoner
intake process, including an analysis of each aspect of the process. In addition, we
identified DOC's costs associated with its prisoner intake process and determined an
average cost per prisoner. Further, we determined whether DOC had established
timeliness or cost benchmarks and whether DOC monitored and evaluated its own
process.
In reaching our conclusion on effectiveness, we considered our audit evidence that
indicated that DOC properly completed all aspects of the prisoner intake process; that

* See glossary at end of report for definition.

12
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DOC reclassified only 9.0% and 6.5% of male and female prisoners, respectively, within
90 days after their initial intake classification; that the Charles Egeler Reception and
Guidance Center (RGC) completed the intake process for 97.0% of the male prisoners
within the required time frame; that the Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility
(WHV) did not complete the intake process for 68.6% of the female prisoners within the
required time frame; and that DOC had not monitored or evaluated its own process. We
also considered that the number of prisoners processed through intake at WHV
represented only 6.2% and 8.4% of the total number of prisoners processed through
intake by DOC during fiscal years 2011-12 and 2012-13, respectively. We believe that
the results of our audit efforts provide a reasonable basis for our audit conclusion for
this audit objective.
Related to efficiency, we considered our audit evidence that indicated that RGC
completed the intake process for 97.0% of the male prisoners within the required time
frame; that WHV did not complete the intake process for 68.6% of the female prisoners
within the required time frame; and that the number of prisoners processed through
intake at WHV represented only 6.2% and 8.4% of the total number of prisoners
processed through intake by DOC during fiscal years 2011-12 and 2012-13,
respectively. We also considered that DOC had not developed a performance standard
related to the cost of processing prisoners through intake and had not conducted a cost
analysis of the prisoner intake process. We considered program costs to be
significantly relevant to an efficiency objective, such that, without a related performance
standard, we could not conclude on this objective.

FINDING
1.

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Process
DOC had not developed a comprehensive CQI process to monitor and evaluate the
effectiveness and efficiency of its prisoner intake process. As a result, DOC could
not assess the strengths, weaknesses, and needs or the overall effectiveness and
efficiency of its intake process.
Program effectiveness and efficiency can often be evaluated and improved by
having a comprehensive evaluation process to provide management with
information that will allow it to make the necessary decisions and changes to meet
the established program goals*. Such a process should include performance

* See glossary at end of report for definition.

13
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indicators that measure outcomes* related to the program's goals and objectives*;
performance standards or goals that describe the desired level of outputs* or
outcomes based on management expectations, peer group performance, and/or
historical performance; a management information system to accurately gather
output and outcome data on a timely basis; an evaluation of the actual data with
desired outputs and outcomes; a reporting of the evaluation results to
management; and recommendations to improve effectiveness and efficiency or
change the desired performance standards or goals.
Our review of DOC's efforts to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of its
prisoner intake process disclosed:
a.

DOC had not developed a related performance standard and had not
analyzed the costs associated with processing prisoners through intake.
During our review, we identified all costs associated with processing prisoners
through intake, including salaries and wages, utilities, food, supplies, etc. We
determined that DOC's average cost to process prisoners through intake was
as follows:

RGC
Fiscal Year

Number of
Prisoners Processed

WHV

Total Cost

Cost
Per Prisoner

Number of
Prisoners Processed

Total Cost

Cost
Per Prisoner

2010-11

10,460

$28,490,524

$2,724

767

$4,060,763

$5,294

2011-12

13,105

$31,411,401

$2,397

873

$4,273,110

$4,895

2012-13

10,681

$32,063,447

$3,002

981

$4,270,453

$4,353

As indicated by the preceding table, there are significant differences between
RGC's and WHV's average cost per prisoner, as well as significant differences
at the individual facilities from year to year. A cost analysis may help DOC to
identify inefficiencies in its prisoner intake processes.
b.

WHV had not tracked data related to the timeliness of conducting the
individual steps within its intake process and had not compared the overall
timeliness of the intake activities with its established performance standard.

* See glossary at end of report for definition.

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As a result, as further described in Finding 2, WHV staff did not complete the
intake process for 930 (68.6%) of 1,355 female prisoners within the required
time frame.
c.

DOC had not implemented a process to obtain and evaluate other data related
to its prisoner intake process.
DOC used two systems, the Corrections Management Information System
(CMIS) and the Offender Management Network Information System (OMNI),
that were designed to document the activity of persons incarcerated in a
Michigan prison. Both CMIS and OMNI contain significant output and
outcome data, including basic prisoner information, prisoner movement, and
prisoner security classification information. However, DOC had not utilized the
information in these systems to help evaluate the effectiveness of the prisoner
intake process.
During our review, we obtained data related to the 15,725 and 1,421 prisoners
who entered intake with a new sentence at RGC and WHV, respectively,
between August 1, 2010 and September 30, 2012 and the changes in the
prisoners' security classifications within 30, 60, and 90 days after their initial
intake security classification. DOC could use this data, in part, to determine
the effectiveness of the prisoner intake process:
RGC

WHV

Number of Days to
Prisoners' Subsequent
Security Classification Change

Number of
Prisoners

Percent of
Prisoners

Number of
Prisoners

Percent of
Prisoners

30 days
60 days
90 days

535
993
1,420

3.4%
6.3%
9.0%

22
54
92

1.5%
3.8%
6.5%

DOC indicated that it reviewed the day-to-day operations for efficiency
opportunities; however, it had not performed analyses of costs or other
performance indicators.

RECOMMENDATION
We recommend that DOC develop a comprehensive CQI process to monitor and
evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of its prisoner intake process.

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AGENCY PRELIMINARY RESPONSE
DOC agrees with the recommendation and indicated that it will comply. DOC
implemented policy directive 01.01.110, "Effective Process Improvement and
Communication" (EPIC), effective April 1, 2014, to establish an ongoing means to
evaluate and monitor process improvement and communication in work areas
throughout DOC. The policy can be used to determine where changes are
warranted to improve an area's performance and efficiency. DOC also stated that
it will use EPIC to enable identification of improvements resulting in better
outcomes within the prisoner intake process.
In addition, DOC stated that policy directive 01.05.100, "Self-Audit of Policies and
Procedures," establishes a means to evaluate and monitor compliance with policies
and to take proactive steps to correct any deficiencies. Furthermore, DOC stated
that RGC and WHV will use the self-audit process to monitor overall timeliness of
the prisoner intake process and establish a plan of action to ensure that the
process is made more effective and efficient as necessary.

FINDING
2.

Timeliness of Prisoner Intake Process
WHV did not coordinate the scheduling of its intake services. Also, WHV did not
track data related to the timeliness of its overall intake process. As a result, WHV
staff did not complete the intake process for 68.6% of the female prisoners within
the required time frame.
DOC policy directive 04.01.105 states that intake processing should normally be
completed within four weeks. Also, WHV operating procedure 04.01.105 provides
a time line for conducting the individual steps within the intake process. We
interpreted the four-week requirement to be 30 days and considered the intake
process to be complete when DOC completed and approved the prisoner's initial
intake classification.

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Our review of WHV's intake process disclosed:
a.

WHV did not allocate staff to the intake process on specific days and at
specific times. Instead, WHV allowed the intake staff to schedule their own
intake appointments, causing scheduling conflicts among the prisoners and
other intake staff.

b.

WHV had not tracked the individual steps within its intake process to be able
to analyze the timeliness of its overall intake process.

We reviewed the timeliness of the intake process for the 1,355 female prisoners
who entered intake with a new sentence and were processed through intake
between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2013. We determined that WHV staff
did not complete the intake process within 30 days for 930 (68.6%) female
prisoners. WHV completed the intake process for these prisoners as follows:
Number of Days
to Complete
Intake Process

Number of Female Prisoners Processed
2011-12

2012-13

Total

Percent of Total 1,355 Female
Prisoners Processed Between
October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2013

146
72
85
24
4
4

93
89
75
269
67
2

239
161
160
293
71
6

17.6%
11.9%
11.8%
21.6%
5.2%
0.4%

335

595

930

68.6%

Fiscal Year

31 - 35 days
36 - 40 days
41 - 45 days
46 - 60 days
61 - 90 days
91 - 135 days
Total

RECOMMENDATIONS
We recommend that WHV coordinate the scheduling of its intake services.
We also recommend that WHV track data related to the timeliness of its overall
intake process.

AGENCY PRELIMINARY RESPONSE
DOC agrees with the recommendations and indicated that it will comply. DOC
stated that, because several factors influence intake processing time at WHV, DOC

17
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is taking steps to establish more realistic timeframe goals for female prisoners.
DOC explained that, for example, WHV health service teams provide care to
prisoners in intake and to the other 2,000 prisoners housed at WHV; consequently,
health service teams schedule appointments on a priority basis.
Also, DOC stated that, to prevent scheduling conflicts, WHV will ensure that staff
check the Offender Management Callout Service (OCMS) system when arranging
prisoner appointments.
In addition, DOC stated that the deputy warden
supervising the intake process will begin noting on the warden monthly report the
average length of time it takes a prisoner to reach each of the intake processes
and evaluate and address any forecasted delays within a specific unit as
necessary.

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GLOSSARY

19
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Glossary of Abbreviations and Terms

CMIS

Corrections Management Information System.

continuous quality
improvement (CQI)

A process that aligns the vision and mission of an
organization with the needs and expectations of internal and
external customers. It normally includes a process to
improve program effectiveness and efficiency by assessing
performance measures that evaluate outputs and outcomes
related to the program vision, mission, goals, and objectives.

Correctional Offender
Management Profiling
for Alternative
Sanctions (COMPAS)

A research-based risk and needs assessment tool for
criminal justice practitioners to assist them in the placement,
supervision, and case management of offenders in
community and secure settings.

DOC

Department of Corrections.

effectiveness

Success in achieving mission and goals.

efficiency

Achieving the most outputs and the most outcomes practical
with the minimum amount of resources.

EPIC

Effective Process Improvement and Communication.

goal

An intended outcome of a program or an entity to accomplish
its mission.

material condition

A matter that, in the auditor's judgment, is more severe than
a reportable condition and could impair the ability of
management to operate a program in an effective and
efficient manner and/or could adversely affect the judgment
of an interested person concerning the effectiveness and
efficiency of the program.

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objective

Specific outcome(s) that a program or an entity seeks to
achieve its goals.

OMNI

Offender Management Network Information System.

outcome

An actual impact of a program or an entity.

output

A product or a service produced by a program or an entity.

performance audit

An audit that provides findings or conclusions based on an
evaluation of sufficient, appropriate evidence against criteria.
Performance audits provide objective analysis to assist
management and those charged with governance and
oversight in using the information to improve program
performance and operations, reduce costs, facilitate decision
making by parties with responsibility to oversee or initiate
corrective action, and contribute to public accountability.

performance standard

A desired level of output or outcome.

reportable condition

A matter that, in the auditor's judgment, is less severe than a
material condition and falls within any of the following
categories:
an opportunity for improvement within the
context of the audit objectives; a deficiency in internal control
that is significant within the context of the audit objectives; all
instances of fraud; illegal acts unless they are
inconsequential within the context of the audit objectives;
significant violations of provisions of contracts or grant
agreements; and significant abuse that has occurred or is
likely to have occurred.

RGC

Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center.

WHV

Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility.

21
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MICHIGAN
OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL

AUDIT REPORT

THOMAS H. MCTAVISH, C.P.A.
AUDITOR GENERAL

 

 

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