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Legislative Audit Commission

Minutes

January 31, 2013

Members Present:

Representative Michael Beard Senator Michelle Benson
Representative Sondra Erickson    Senator Mary Kiffmeyer
Representative Andrew Falk Senator Warren Limmer
Representative Rick Hansen Senator James Metzen
Representative Mary Liz Holberg Senator Roger J. Reinert
Representative Steve Simon Senator Ann H. Rest

Representative Beard, Chair, called the Legislative Audit Commission (LAC) meeting to order at 2:18 p.m.  The purpose of the meeting was to elect new officers of the Commission as required by law. 

Since all members were present, Representative Beard requested nominations for chair.  He explained that the chair needed to be a Senate member because statute requires it to rotate between the House and Senate every two years.  Senator Metzen made a motion to elect Senator Reinert.  Receiving no other nominations, the motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.  Senator Reinert assumed the chair and requested nominations for vice chair.  Representative Holberg made a motion to elect Representative Beard.  Receiving no other nominations, the motion prevailed. 

Senator Reinert said that another LAC meeting would be scheduled in the next few weeks to designate several subcommittees:  a Financial Audit Subcommittee, a Program Evaluation Subcommittee, and an Executive Operating Subcommittee, which would focus on the operations of the LAC, a potential succession plan should it be needed in the future, and internal operations. 

Senator Rest said a bill has been submitted in the Senate from the State Auditor to transfer a duty to the Legislative Auditor to audit JOBZ agreements.  Mr. Nobles said he would talk to Senator Rest regarding some clarity of the language.  Senator Rest agreed.  Mr. Nobles added that he may bring before the Executive Subcommittee a very technical housekeeping bill to add some clarification to the statute relating to OLA’s authority.  He said he will be asking members of the LAC to carry the legislation.

Mr. Nobles then took the opportunity to thank Representative Beard and Senator Reinert for their efforts of leading the full Commission and the Topic Selection Subcommittee over the last two years.  He also thanked all the members for being present and willing to be part of the LAC.  Mr. Nobles said that OLA is there to help the Commission in its work and to extend the arm of legislative oversight.

Representative Hansen brought up the DNR data breach that had recently occurred.  He asked all members to become familiar with the issue and to watch for suggested legislation directing OLA to perform certain tasks, which may fall outside of its current responsibilities.  Mr. Nobles added that OLA will be releasing a program evaluation on how law enforcement personnel access various databases, but mostly how they access the drivers’ license database.  This report will cover the topic more broadly.  He said OLA had wanted to examine the DNR data breach more specifically; however, Mr. Nobles is satisfied that DNR did an adequate personnel investigation and took adequate action, and that the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension did a thorough investigation. 

In response to Senator Kiffmeyer, Mr. Nobles said there would be no additional appropriation to OLA’s budget to compensate for the new duty transferred to the office in the previously mentioned Senate bill.  He also said that even though OLA’s audit responsibilities have grown over the years and the office has experienced several budget cuts, OLA has worked within the budget it has and not requested additional funds.

With no further business, Senator Reinert adjourned the meeting at 2:38 p.m.

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Senator Roger J. Reinert, Chair

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Shelly Watterud, Recording Secretary

 

Office of the Legislative Auditor ♦ Room 140, 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55155