February 14, 2018

Contact: Sen. Cowles: (608) 266-0484 / Rep. Kerkman: (888) 529-0061

Audit Recommends Improved IT Security for STAR

MADISON – Today, the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) released its financial audit of the State of Wisconsin’s fiscal year (FY) 2016-17 financial statements (report 18-3). The Department of Administration (DOA) prepares the State’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). LAB provided unmodified opinions on the State’s FY 2016-17 financial statements presented in the CAFR. An unmodified audit opinion is provided when audit evidence supports the conclusion that the financial statements provide a fair view of an entity’s financial activity in accordance with GAAP.

“The GAAP deficit decrease and is moving us in the right direction. However, the deficiencies in IT security is concerning. As a state, we need to improve the oversight and security confidence in our technology programs,” said Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay).

LAB identified one material weakness and eight significant deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting. The material weakness and several significant deficiencies related to weaknesses in information technology (IT) security policies, procedures, and controls, including those related to STAR, which is the State’s new enterprise resource planning system. LAB recommends that DOA and other state agencies make improvements to address security concerns. LAB also identified significant deficiencies in certain financial reporting processes at DOA and the Department of Transportation, which implemented STAR at the start of FY 2016-17.

“Overall, I am pleased that the state has again received an unmodified opinion from the LAB on its financial statements presented in the CAFR,” said Rep. Samantha Kerkman (R-Salem Lakes). “I recognize that transitioning to an enterprise resource planning system such as STAR comes with a learning curve, and expect to see state agencies make the necessary corrections to address the security concerns identified.”

Copies of report 18-3 may be obtained from LAB’s website at or by calling (608) 266-2818. Report concerns related to state government activities to LAB by calling the toll-free hotline at 1‑877‑FRAUD‑17.