DENVER—The Office of the State Auditor (OSA) has released its performance audit of the 25-member Sex Offender Management Board (Board) at the Department of Public Safety (Department).
The Board is not meeting its statutory charge to provide evidence-based standards for the evaluation, identification, treatment, management, and monitoring of Colorado’s 24,000 registered sex offenders. Specifically, of the Board’s 381 subsections of standards on evaluating, identifying, and treating offenders, only 18 percent in the Adult Standards and 11 percent in the Juvenile Standards cited supporting evidence.
The audit also found problems with how the Board identifies and mitigates conflicts of interest among its members, identifying nine members who had actual conflicts or situations that created the appearance of a conflict that were not disclosed and did not prevent the members from performing official actions. For example, three members approved providers in 2018 working at the same businesses in which the members were owners, directors, or officers. Another member—the director of a private agency awarded a $3.5 million contract by the State for mental health therapy services for sex offenders—voted to change standards that applied to their agency.
Further, the Board did not verify that 13 service provider applicants, out of a sample of 18, met requirements related to references, competency in professional standards and ethics, training, and competency to serve offenders with developmental/intellectual disabilities or juvenile offenders.
The Board also took no action on four complaints against providers submitted during the audit period. These complaints all met the Board’s criteria requiring review and investigation.
The audit was performed in response to a legislative request and makes six recommendations to improve Board transparency and accountability, and provider oversight.
The full report is available @ www.colorado.gov/auditor.
About the Office of the State Auditor (OSA):
Under the direction of the State Auditor, the OSA is the State’s nonpartisan, independent external auditor with broad authority to audit state agencies, departments, institutions of higher education, and the Judicial and Legislative Branches. The OSA also conducts evaluations of the State’s tax expenditures (e.g., credits, exemptions, deductions) established in statute and tracks about 4,000 Colorado local governments for compliance with the Local Government Audit Law. The OSA’s professional staff serve the people of Colorado by addressing relevant public issues through high-quality, objective audits, evaluations, and other work products that promote accountability and positive change in government.
Dianne E. Ray, CPA —— State Auditor
Contact: Greg Fugate