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Legislative Audit Commission
Topic Selection Subcommittee

Minutes

April 3, 2009

Members Present:

Representative Rick Hansen, Chair
Representative Michael Beard
Representative Bill Hilty
Senator David Hann
Senator Ann H. Rest
Senator Claire Robling

The meeting of the Topic Selection Subcommittee of the Legislative Audit Commission was called to order by Representative Rick Hansen, Chair, at 9:00 a.m. 

Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles said that the subcommittee’s goal was to select 5 – 8 evaluation topics to present to the Legislative Audit Commission (LAC) for approval.  He introduced Judy Randall, Program Evaluation Manager, to give an overview of how they had gotten to this point.  Ms. Randall reminded the members that the original list contained 69 topics and at the last meeting they had cut the list down to 15 topics.  She explained that OLA staff had developed background papers on each of those 15, which give a brief synopsis of each topic and include OLA’s assessment on the back.  Ms. Randall said that all 15 topics are doable, however, some are more promising than others.  For example, she said that the Job-Growth Policies and Incentives and the Workforce Programs topics are very similar; however, the workforce programs topic is more promising because it is focused on specific programs.

Senator Rest moved Managing State-Owned Land, MnSCU System Office Services and Expenditures, and Workforce Programs as the first three topics to be selected.  Representative Hansen seconded the motion, and all members voted in favor. 

Representative Hansen asked the members to each vote for three more topics they would like to see on the list presented to the LAC.  After some discussion about several of the topics, Senator Rest moved the Public Defender System, Renewable Energy Development Fund (as a small evaluation), Governance of Minnesota’s Transit Systems, and Alternative Education Programs topics to be added to the first three topics selected.  Representative Beard seconded the motion, and all members voted in favor.

Senator Robling moved to add the Medical Nonemergency Transportation Services topic to the final list as a small evaluation.  Jo Vos, an evaluation manager from OLA, said that this topic would actually be a larger study in order to gather all of the information that Senator Robling was interested in learning.  Representative Hilty strongly urged members to consider the Sex Offender Treatment Program at Moose Lake and St. Peter topic.  He said that the program costs the state a lot more money than people realize, and he gave several examples of this.  Senator Robling then moved to add the Sex Offender Treatment Program topic to her initial motion. 

Senator Rest amended Senator Robling’s motion by suggesting to add the Medical Nonemergency Transportation Services topic to the final list and then bringing the discussion of the Public Defender System versus the Sex Offender Treatment Program topics before the full LAC to decide the outcome.  Senator Hann seconded the motion, and all members voted in favor.

Representative Hansen recapped the recommended list of topics to bring to the commission as follows:

Alternative Education Programs
Managing State-Owned Land
Medical Nonemergency Transportation Services
MnSCU System Office Services and Expenditures
Renewable Energy Development Fund
Governance of Minnesota’s Transit Systems
Workforce Programs
Public Defender System OR Sex Offender Treatment Program at Moose Lake and St. Peter

Representative Hansen asked Mr. Nobles for an update on OLA evaluations.  Mr. Nobles said that the Biofuels evaluation has been delayed and suggested an April 17 LAC meeting to release the report and approve the new topics.  He also said that OLA staff are currently working on completing E-Verify and Capitol Complex Security evaluations; however, it is too early to make any promises on the release dates.

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

 

_______________________________________
Representative Rick Hansen, Chair

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Shelly Watterud, Recording Secretary

 

Mentioned

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