Implementation of New Budgetary & Operational Controls for Ramsey County Sheriff's Office

On Feb. 21, 2023, the county board unanimously voted to put in place six new budgetary and operational controls to provide increased oversight, collaboration and transparency while continuing to support the Sheriff’s Office operational priorities and critical work.  

This work is ongoing and will take time and collaboration to implement, but Ramsey County recognizes it is our collective responsibility to be effective and transparent stewards of taxpayer dollars.

Status updates

Below are copies of the monthly memos from the Ramsey County Manager’s Office to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office following monthly summary meetings which includes progress and findings from an independent financial consultant and county leadership on progress toward each of the controls.

Memos from County Manager to Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office

Controls and status updates

Click on each control for more information. 

1. All request for proposals (RFPs) be brought to county board for approval as well as discussion with central Finance before RFPS are issued.

2. Transfer of personnel benefits and transactions assistants and associated funding from Sheriff’s Office to central HR.

3. Any use of cooperative contracts must be priorly approved and reviewed by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

4. Conduct enhanced reviews of all Sheriff’s Office procurement cards and purchase orders.

5. Engage a third-party auditor to review all budgetary items monthly with Sheriff’s Office and report back to county manager, compliance and ethics, and Ramsey County Audit Committee.

6. Implement a comprehensive review and approval process to ensure consistency in the Sheriff’s Office in the application of hiring rules, policies, and procedures.

Scroll table right to see more

Budget history

In 2019 and 2022, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office overspent their board-approved allocated budget. These annual budgets were set during a comprehensive process in partnership with the county manager and core budget team and ultimately approved by the county board.  

Below is the historic trend analysis of Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office budget.

  2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Approved budget per budget process  58,048,470  60,377,284 62,804,835 62,168,680 64,360,601
Levy allocated budget  43,990,147 45,855,388 48,154,452 47,418,071 47,621,282
Revenue and levy adjustments 4,963,743 4,602,759 4,858,023 7,851,937 5,470,868
Actual spent 62,722,983 65,481,619 67,659,299 69,927,683 72,470,473
Actual levy impact 43,700,917 46,356,964 48,150,894 47,355,138 50,260,286
Levy impact 
Under/(Over) $

Levy impact 
Under/(Over) %






Read more on the budget setting process and past budgets

Notice of anticipated over expenditure for 2022 

On February 21, the county board was informed that the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office had overspent their 2022 budget by $2.7 million.  

Ramsey County Finance leadership staff had been working with the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office throughout 2022; however, over the course of multiple budget monitoring meetings, the anticipated $2.7 million deficit was never disclosed. Projections ranged from a deficit of approximately $375,000 to $1.3 million, with assurances that it would be partially offset with other revenues, as happened in prior years.    

During a discussion at the Ramsey County board meeting on February 21, the board of commissioners requested the county manager, Human Resources and Finance team investigate potential budgetary and operational controls within the board and county’s authority to ensure that another deficit of this magnitude would not take place again resulting in impacts to the greater county budget and most importantly the taxpayers of Ramsey County.