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Topic Selection Subcommittee
Legislative Audit Commission


March 19, 2007

Members Present:

Representative Rick Hansen (ex officio)    Senator Ann Rest
Representative Connie Ruth Senator Claire Robling

Members Absent:

Representative Steve Simon

The Topic Selection Subcommittee of the Legislative Audit Commission meeting was called to order by Representative Rick Hansen at 9:07 a.m. in the absence of the chair, Senator Rest, who was delayed.  He noted that Senator Robling and Representative Ruth were present.  Representative Hansen indicated the purpose of the meeting was to review the list of evaluation topics suggested by legislators and others.  A list of 12 – 15 topics will be selected for further consideration by the subcommittee.  Representative Hansen recognized Jim Nobles, Legislative Auditor.

Mr. Nobles mentioned that a list was sent out to members that had 49 possible topics on it the previous week.  However, after that list was sent out, the OLA received additional suggestions which brought the list to 59.  Mr. Nobles pointed out the one follow-up topic on the list:  Workforce Development Services.  He said that OLA has jurisdiction to do this evaluation on its own.  However, the subcommittee may also wish to endorse this topic as part of OLA’s work agenda.  This would be a smaller evaluation that could be done after OLA finishes any work the commission asks it to do.

Senator Rest arrived and assumed the chair.  She asked that each member go through the list and tell which four or five topics they had chosen.  There was a brief discussion about several of the topics and Mr. Nobles, along with OLA staff, answered members’ questions.  After all members gave their top picks, the topics with the most interest were chosen.

The topics selected by the subcommittee for further consideration included:

School Transportation
MnSCU Online Courses
State Financial Management of Publicly Funded Health Care Programs
Fraud Control in Publicly Funded Health Care Programs
Enforcement of Vehicle Size and Weight Restrictions
Oversight of Workers Compensation Insurance Claims
Classification of Workers as Independent Contractors
Oversight of Occupational Safety and Health
No-Fault Auto Insurance
JOBZ Program
Court Fees and Surcharges
Agricultural Utilization Research Institute
County Veterans Services Offices
“Green Acres” Program and Agricultural Land Preservation Programs

Representative Ruth moved to have these 14 topics be the list for further consideration.  The motion prevailed.

Mr. Nobles reminded the subcommittee that the OLA staff will do background papers on all 14 topics and send them to the subcommittee members for review.  Also, an interest survey would be sent out to all legislators that same day on these topics.  Mr. Nobles stated that the subcommittee should meet again by the middle of the following week to discuss the results of the interest surveys and background papers in order to cut the list to the final six to eight topics.

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:50 a.m.

Senator Ann H. Rest, Chair

Shelly Watterud, Recording Secretary



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