RMHS Will Continue to Make Improvements to Increase Accountability to Denver Taxpayers Following Findings from Denver Audit
Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS) will continue to make improvements to the way it administers Denver property tax revenue dedicated to Denver residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and appreciates Denver Auditor Tim O’Brien’s thorough audit released Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019.
In 2003, Denver residents approved a mill levy, or property tax, to support individuals with I/DD in Denver. Since then, Denver Human Services has contracted with RMHS to use mill levy revenue to serve Denver residents.
In 2015, the Denver Office of the Auditor released an audit of how RMHS uses of mill levy funding, and RMHS responded to the audit’s recommendations by listening to the community to learn more about their needs. As a result, RMHS redesigned the Mill Levy Program to increase access to services and increase options for individuals.
“Today, thanks to the RMHS Mill Levy Program, Denver residents with I/DD and their families have access to more programs and resources than ever before, and in ways that are tailored to each resident’s individual needs,” said RMHS Executive Director Shari Repinski.
In 2018, nearly 4,300 Denver residents received services and support from the Mill Levy Program in three different ways:
Providing funding for the unique needs of Denver residents and their families, such as adaptive equipment, transportation and safety items.
Supporting individuals, nonprofit organizations and businesses that provide unique I/DD services and support.
Enhancing RMHS services to eliminate waitlists, allow service coordinators more time to work with clients and improve programs.
The objective of this most recent audit was to review Denver Human Services’ oversight of its contract with RMHS, and to determine whether Denver Human Services and RMHS managed, allocated and spent mill levy funds in accordance with the contract and the city ordinance that governs the mill levy. The audit found no evidence of fraud or abuse of funds.
RMHS and DHS have a solid partnership that is dedicated to balancing easy access to programs and resources for Denver residents and being accountable to Denver taxpayers.
To assist with the 2019 audit, RMHS met with the audit team many times, provided thousands of documents, opened up its entire general ledger, and used staff expertise to help the audit team develop a solid understanding of the RMHS Mill Levy Program.
Among the audit’s findings were results of a survey administered to families enrolled in the RMHS Early Intervention program, which serves children from birth to age 3 with developmental delays. Of the 319 respondents:
92 percent were satisfied with their service coordination.
95 percent were satisfied with the services in their child’s service plan.
Other findings indicated room for improvement in strengthening policies and procedures and internal controls. As a result of the audit’s recommendations, RMHS has committed to several actions including:
Implementing agreed-upon methods to gauge client satisfaction.
Clarifying RMHS contracts with subcontractors that provide mill levy-funded “special projects” and creating written policies and procedures to improve how it monitors these subcontractors.
Improving the ways RMHS verifies that recipients of mill levy-funded services and support are Denver residents.
Improving its documentation of services.
Providing written feedback to the RMHS Community Advisory Council regarding the council’s recommendations to RMHS.
“We realize we still have plenty of work to do to improve this important resource for Denver residents, and we look forward to continuing our work with Denver Human Services and the Denver community to address the audit’s recommendations,” Repinski said.