|Public Release Date: June 9, 1995||No. 95-24|
The Ethical Practices Board was established in 1974, as part of the Ethics in Government Act, under Minnesota Statute Chapter 10A. The Governor appoints the bipartisan six-member board to four-year terms, with the advice and three-fifths consent of the Senate and House of Representatives. The board appointed Mary Ann McCoy, the current executive director, on January 12, 1981.
The Ethical Practices Board is the service and regulatory agency that develops and implements the administration and enforcement of state laws for disclosure of public and local officials' financial interest and potential conflicts of interest. It provides oversight and enforcement of state laws for the disclosure of lobbying disbursements to influence state legislative, administrative, and official actions of governmental units. In addition, a major function of the board is to administer the distribution of public subsidy to qualified state candidates and the state committee of a political party.
The board receives support for its operational activities in the form of state appropriations and voluntary checkoffs of $5 by Minnesota residents on state income and property tax refund forms.
Our audit scope included a review of public subsidy grants to qualified state candidates and the state political parties for the period from July 1, 1993 to March 31, 1995. Our audit objective was to determine if the Ethical Practices Board had appropriately disbursed public subsidy grants in accordance with Minnesota Statute Chapter 10A. To accomplish this, we reviewed the board's procedures for allocating, monitoring, and disbursing the public subsidies. In addition, we reviewed the board's procedures related to the return of public subsidy, as mandated under Minnesota Statute Chapter 10A.324. The board had disbursed $4,215,154 in public subsidies and received returns in the amount of $62,045 during our audit period.