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Legislative Audit Commission

Minutes

February 16, 1998

The meeting of the Legislative Audit Commission was called to order by Acting Chair, Representative Dan McElroy on Monday, February 16, 1998 at 9:10 a.m. in Room 107 State Capitol.

Members present:

Representative Lynda Boudreau    Senator David Knutson
Representative Mindy Greiling Senator Keith Langseth
Representative Dan McElroy Senator James Metzen
Senator Deanna Wiener

Members not present:

Representative Edwina Garcia    Senator William Belanger, Jr.
Representative Kris Hasskamp Senator Sheila Kiscaden
Representative Mark Holsten Senator Thomas Neuville
Representative Philip Krinkie Senator Pat Pariseau
Representative Bill Macklin Senator Ember Reichgott Junge
Representative Mary Jo McGuire     Senator Allan Spear
Representative Ann H. Rest

Representative McElroy indicated the purpose of the meeting was to review the program evaluation report on state building maintenance and recognized Roger Brooks, Deputy Legislative Auditor for Program Evaluation. Mr. Brooks reviewed the reasons why the Commission wanted the study to be done. He gave an overview of questions addressed in the report, as well as some study’s of the conclusions.

Senator Wiener joined the meeting and assumed the Chair.

Mr. Brooks introduced Dan Jacobson and Jan Sandberg, co-managers of the study. Mr. Jacobson reviewed in more detail the questions addressed and methods used in conducting the study and answered questions from members. Ms. Sandberg reviewed the variations in building maintenance practices among state agencies, MnSCU and the University of Minnesota and presented the report’s findings and recommended solutions. Both Mr. Jacobson and Ms. Sandberg answered questions concerning possible changes in how building maintenance is funded.

Senator Wiener recognized Dr. Laura King, Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer for MnSCU. Dr. King indicated that her office is working on understanding the condition of all MnSCU buildings and setting standards, working to manage its investment in its buildings, planning investments at the capital budget level and that they are working on a uniform reporting system. She indicated they are in the process of conducting a program survey which is looking at what the space in each building is used for.

Senator Wiener recognized Peggy Ingison, Assistant Commissioner for the Department of Finance. Ms. Ingison agreed that there in most agencies there is inadequate spending on building maintenance and that her office is looking at how to balance the needs of the operating budgets against the capitol budgets. She noted that they are trying to develop a formula for agencies to use in developing their budgets, but since there is such wide variation among agencies and the condition of their buildings, it is proving quite difficult. She felt that mandatory reporting will help in the future.

Representative Boudreau noted that she hoped the Legislature would use the report as a guide in helping to determine if agency funding requests were appropriate.

Mr. Brooks noted the report on school trust lands will be released on March 3. James Nobles indicated that the program evaluation topic selection process would be beginning in the very near future and asked members to contact his office if they wanted to suggest topics.

The meeting adjourned at 10:00 a.m.

_______________________________________
Senator Deanna Wiener, Chair

_______________________________________
Jean Barnhill, Recording Secretary

 

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