Comptroller Fiscal Year Memo Letter Head


To:               Internal Control Officers, Single Audit Liaisons, and Chief Fiscal Officers

From:           Martin J. Benison, Comptroller

Date:            April 20, 2012

Re:               Internal Control Questionnaire and Department Representations: Due May 4, 2012

Comptroller Memo# FY2012-22

Executive Summary

This memo announces the FY2012 Internal Control Questionnaire (ICQ).  Once again, the ICQ application will be accessed via our intranet site, Comptroller Intranet.  See the attached Instructions for Completing the FY2012 Internal Control Questionnaire for details.  Departments should complete the ICQ on or before May 4, 2012.  Auditors, and staff from the Comptroller’s Quality Assurance Bureau review ICQ responses and may contact departments to follow up on specific answers.  Department management is responsible for implementing and maintaining effective internal controls.  The ICQ’s Representations Section confirms this for the Commonwealth.

The user must first enter PartnerNet to access the ICQ for both data entry and review. Chief Fiscal Officers, (CFOs) Single Audit Liaisons and Internal Control Officers (ICOs) already have access to both PartnerNet and the ICQ.  Once these users log on to PartnerNet, they will be presented with a link to the ICQ application. If departments want additional users to have access, Department Security Officers can request access for additional users by submitting a PartnerNet Security Request Form.

The ICO, the Single Audit Liaison, and the CFO should work closely with senior management to identify appropriate staff for providing responses to every section of the ICQ.  Please collect and review all responses, then enter them into the ICQ application no later than May 4, 2012.  Instructions on completing and submitting the ICQ are attached.

The ICQ is designed to provide an indication of the effectiveness of the Commonwealth’s internal controls. During the Single Audit, auditors from KPMG, as well as Comptroller staff will review the internal controls of several departments in more depth.  They will also visit departments to follow-up on prior year findings, review compliance with federal and state regulations, test selected transactions, and review cash and encumbrances. The auditors use department internal control plans and ICQ responses, along with other procedures, to render an opinion on the internal controls of the Commonwealth as a whole.

Departments Using Centralized Business Units
Some departments use centralized business units to perform functions for multiple departments such as human resources, payroll, accounting, and procurement.  These departments should answer the questions as if they used a contractor to perform these functions.  In the comments field of each relevant section, briefly describe the arrangement.

The last section of the questionnaire is the department’s certification of the accuracy of responses.

The Department Head, CFO, and ICO must read and approve each statement.  Then, enter the approvers’ names, official titles, and approval dates.  Finally, print this section, have each person sign and date it, and keep the signed copy on file as your department’s certification of the representations.

Internal controls are critical in creating an environment that is accountable to the public, while being responsive to the needs and direction of senior management.  The Internal Control Act, Chapter 647 of the Acts of 1989, mandates that each department document its internal controls in accordance with guidelines established by the Office of the Comptroller – see: Internal Control Guide.

The completed ICQ is due on or before May 4, 2012.  Staff should plan to provide a copy to any auditors who visit your agency as part of the Statewide Single Audit.  If you have any questions, contact the Comptroller’s Help Line at (617) 973-2468.  Thank you in advance for your time and cooperation.

Attachments:       Instructions for Completion docx format of FY2012-22: Internal Control Questionnaire

cc:   Department Heads
        MMARS Liaisons
        Payroll Directors
        General Counsels
        Internal Distribution