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Monday, December 17, 2012

Ind. Gov't. - "Auditors find accuracy and technology problems in state tax dept., follows $526M in errors"

Updating these of earlier ILB entries on the Ind. Dept. of Revenue's $526 million error, Tom LoBianco of the AP reports this afternoon:

INDIANAPOLIS — A patchwork system of outdated technology and a work culture that sacrificed accuracy for speed were at the heart of $526 million in tax errors, according to an independent audit of Indiana's Department of Revenue released Monday.

Auditors for the international accounting firm Deloitte also discovered additional errors with 55,000 taxpayer accounts and 2,880 tax refund requests that were never processed, but said the errors were "miniscule" compared to the larger errors which spurred lawmakers to seek an audit in the first place. * * *

The Deloitte audit caps a year of questions about the state's ability to accurately gauge what it's taking in and how much it has to spend. Auditors Kathie Schwerdtfeger and Bari Faudree described Monday a system in which speed trumped accuracy.

"As indicated in the risk assessment, the (revenue department) seemed much more focused on efficiency of tax processing than they were on ensuring a strong system of control and accountability over taxpayer funds," Schwerdtfeger wrote in the report.

Faudree and Schwerdtfeger also pointed out that the state's collage of multiple filing and processing systems led many workers to create workarounds to maintain accuracy and consistency, a problem that could easily be fixed by transferring to a single integrated filing system as other states have.

Workarounds, Schwerdtfeger said, increase "the risk of errors being made and makes processing of transactions less efficient than they otherwise should be."

The auditors consistently praised the revenue department management put in place in May for beginning to implement changes.

"It's a cultural shift more than anything else, so we have begun adding much more focus in terms of the quality and the accuracy," said Revenue Commissioner Mike Alley after the audit hearing Monday afternoon.

Alley said he had considered buying an integrated filing system, but estimated off-the-cuff that it could cost the state $50 million and could be a while before it was in use.

Deloitte's audit results come roughly a year after Gov. Mitch Daniels disclosed the first major error: the misplacement of $320 million in corporate tax collections.

Here is a link to the 66-page Deloitte Controls and Performance Audit. Other reports are here on the DOR site.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, December 17, 2012
Posted to Indiana Government

Law - "7 of the most striking ways states have loosened gun laws"

That is the heading of this long survey article by Suevon Lee of ProPublica, here as published in the Syracuse NY Post-Standard.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, December 17, 2012
Posted to General Law Related

Ind. Decisions - Transfer list for week ending December 14, 2012 [Updated]

[Search all the Transfer Lists: The ILB feature, "Search the ILB Transfer Lists," allows you to do just that, back to Feb. 2004. Check it out. Read the instructions. Note that the search is now current through the May 20, 2012 list.]

Here is the Clerk's transfer list for the week ending Friday, December 14, 2012. It is three pages (and 32 cases) long.

Six transfers were granted last week, two with opinion:

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, December 17, 2012
Posted to Indiana Transfer Lists

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 0 today (and 6 NFP)

For publication opinions today (0):

NFP civil opinions today (4):

Charles Knight v. Allstate Property and Casualty Ins. Co. (NFP)

Star Homes, Individually and d/b/a Garden Homes, Inc., David Garden, Donna Rothwell, John Michael Myers, Indiana Telephone Co., et al. v. Equity Trust Co., FBO James E. Henke, IRA (NFP)

In the Matter of B.A., Child Alleged to be in Need of Services; C.A. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.B.; J.J. and B.B. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (2):

Shelly Watson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Ellis DeBerry v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, December 17, 2012
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions

Catch-up: What did you miss over the weekend from the ILB?

Below is the answer to "What did you miss over the weekend from the ILB?

From Sunday, December 16, 2012:

From Saturday, December 15, 2012:

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, December 17, 2012
Posted to Catch-up

Ind. Decisions - Upcoming oral arguments this week and next

This week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of (12/17/12):

Thursday, December 20th

Next week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of (12/24/12):

Webcasts of Supreme Court oral arguments are available here.


This week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 12/17/12):

Monday, December 17th

Tuesday, December 18th

Next week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 12/24/12):

ONLY those Court of Appeals oral arguments presented in the Supreme or Court of Appeals Courtrooms will be accessible via videocast.

The past COA webcasts which have been webcast are accessible here.


NOTE: For a printable version of this list of upcoming oral arguments, click on the date in the next line. Then select "Print" from your browser.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, December 17, 2012
Posted to Upcoming Oral Arguments