The meeting of the Legislative Audit Commission was called to order by Senator Ann H. Rest at 10:10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2002, in Room 118, State Capitol.
|Senator Dave Johnson||Representative Ruth Johnson|
|Senator Sheila Kiscaden||Representative Dan Larson|
|Senator Ann H. Rest||Representative Mary Jo McGuire|
|Senator Claire Robling||Representative Michelle Rifenberg|
|Senator Deanna Weiner||Representative Wes Skoglund|
|Senator Bill Belanger||Representative Steve Dehler|
|Senator Thomas Neuville||Representative Peggy Leppik|
|Senator Jim Vickerman||Representative Dan McElroy|
Other Legislators Present:
|Senator Tony Kinkle||Representative Larry Howes|
Senator Rest indicated the purpose of the meeting was to release and review the program evaluation on state employee health insurance, to review the report of the Special Subcommittee on Topic Selection and Data Access, and to consider the evaluation proposal of Ah-Gwah-Ching Center.
Senator Rest recognized Roger Brooks, Deputy Legislative Auditor for Program Evaluation. Mr. Brooks gave a brief overview of reasons the topic was selected for study and findings and conclusions contained in the report. He introduced Jo Vos, project manager and Valerie Bombach, evaluation specialist.
Senator Rest recognized Jo Vos. Ms. Vos reviewed the questions addressed in the report, research methods, findings, and recommendations, and answered questions from members.
Senator Rest recognized David Haugen, Assistant Commissioner for the Employee Insurance Division, Department of Employee Relations. Mr. Haugen reviewed the agency's response to the report and answered questions from members. In response to a question from Senator Robling, Mr. Haugen indicated the agency would explore the possibility of sending copies of medical bills to employees as a means to help detect fraud or billing mistakes and to help make employees more aware of the cost of their medical care.
Senator Rest reported that she had appointed the following members to serve on the Topic Selection Subcommittee: Senator Robling (Chair), Senator Kiscaden, Senator Weiner, Representative Larson, Representative McElroy, and Representative Skoglund.
Senator Rest again recognized Mr. Brooks. Mr. Brooks reviewed a background paper concerning a possible evaluation of Ah-Gwah-Ching Center. Senator Rest recognized Representative Howes and Senator Kinkle. Senator Kinkle indicated that he had met that morning with staff of the Department of Human Services, and as a result, action was planned which would eliminate the need for an evaluation. Senator Rest suggested the topic be set aside at the present time and if no progress was made, it be considered when the Topic Selection Subcommittee reviewed all potential topics.
Senator Rest recognized James Nobles, Legislative Auditor. Mr. Nobles reviewed the report of the Special Subcommittee on Data Access and Topic Selection, chaired by Senator Kiscaden. The subcommittee made three recommendations:
Representative McGuire moved that the Commission adopt these recommendations. Motion passed.
Mr. Nobles gave an overview of legislation which allows the Commission to instruct the OLA to retrieve state agency data if an individual entitled to that data is denied that access. He noted the subcommittee concluded the law was too broadly written and recommended it be narrowed to apply to legislators seeking data for oversight of state agencies. Inasmuch as this amendment would not be introduced until the next legislative session, the subcommittee presented a policy for handling such requests. Representative McGuire moved the Commission adopt the proposed policy on requests for access to public data. Motion passed.
The meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m.
Senator Ann H. Rest, Chair
Jean Barnhill, Recording Secretary