New Minnesota Conservator Reporting System First in Nation
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010
Conservators appointed by courts to make financial decisions for adults found unable to manage their financial affairs can now complete their reports online. The new reporting and monitoring system, which was developed and piloted by the Ramsey County Probate Court, is being rolled out statewide as part of a Judicial Branch effort to improve conservatorship oversight and reduce administrative costs.
Letters are being sent to 4,200 conservators statewide urging them to begin using the new reporting system, which can be accessed through the Judicial Branch website. Use of the new system will become mandatory Jan. 1, 2011.
The Minnesota system, called CAMPERS (Conservator Account Monitoring Preparation and Electronic Reporting System) will provide a number of benefits to courts and conservators, including:
- Deter errors and possible exploitation
- Save conservator and court staff time and reduce paperwork
- Allow ready identification of overdue and incomplete reports
- Allow ready access to expense and receipt details
- Allow analysis across all or selected groups of conservators and conservatorships
- Improve court ability to audit accounts
Minnesota is the first state to develop a statewide conservatorship reporting and monitoring system and is being looked to as an example for other states. "The CAMPER system represents one of the most innovative practices in the conservatorship field nationwide," said Dr. Brenda Uekert, Director of the Center for Elders and the Courts at the National Center for State Courts. "For conservators, it offers checks and balances through an automated system. For the courts, CAMPER has the potential to improve the oversight and management of cases. Many states will be looking to Minnesota as a national model of how to improve the conservatorship process."
The Judicial Council has made improved oversight of conservatorships a Branch priority which can be achieved by centralizing and automating account processing and monitoring and assigning monitoring responsibility to specialized staff. The number of conservatorships is expected to grow as Minnesota's population continues to age.
Information about and access to the CAMPERS system can be found at www.mncourts.gov/conservators. An instruction manual and tutorials are provided to assist conservators in registering on the new system and completing their reports.
In conjunction with rollout of the electronic filing system, the Judicial Branch will be conducting periodic standardized audits with an emphasis on deterring inappropriate or fraudulent conduct by conservators. Conservators may be required to submit documentation supporting their reports, including but not limited to bank statements, vouchers, cancelled checks, verification of funds on deposit, tax returns, and other documentation needed to verify deposits of income and receipt of payments.