(The Center Square) - Five Colorado state agencies are holding approximately $15.1 million in excess funds, according to an audit of the state's cash funds.
The State Auditor Office identified excess funds in 19 different accounts within the Department of Personnel & Administration, the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), and the Department of Revenue.
The funds are "fee-based revenue in excess of allowable statutory reserves" at the end of fiscal year 2021, according to the office.
"Paying attention to excess revenue in cash funds is important because it can affect whether the State owes refunds under the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights," Legislative Audit Supervisor Gina Faulkner said in a news release.
State law requires agencies that accrue excess funds to decrease their fees or increase their spending to pay down reserves.
This is the third consecutive year where DORA and CDPHE have had cash funds with uncommitted reserves, the audit said. As a result, the Office of the State Controller has restricted their spending power for fiscal year 2022.
The audit also recommends that agencies with excess cash funds "take appropriate action" to dispose of the funds in accordance with state law, a recommendation the audit said the agencies generally agreed with.
According to the report, specific cash funds can be exempted from the audit if a request for exemption is approved by the Joint Budget Committee, a nonpartisan group of state lawmakers who are responsible for writing the state's budget.
The audit listed several funds that received exemptions, including the Industrial Hemp Registration Program Cash Fund, the Wage Theft Enforcement Fund, and the Health Facility Construction and Inspection Cash Fund.