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Legislative Audit Commission

Evaluation Subcommittee
Minutes

April 5, 2017

Members Present: Members Absent:
Representative Connie Bernardy  Senator Warren Limmer
Representative Rick Hansen 
Representative Duane QuamOther Members Present:
Senator Nick A. Frentz Representative Sondra Erickson
Senator Mary Kiffmeyer
 

In the absence of Senator Warren Limmer (subcommittee chair), Senator Mary Kiffmeyer called the Legislative Audit Commission (LAC) Evaluation Subcommittee meeting to order at 8:03 a.m. The purpose of the meeting was to select evaluation topics to recommend to the full LAC.

Senator Kiffmeyer asked Jim Nobles, Legislative Auditor, and Judy Randall, Deputy Legislative Auditor, to provide an overview of the topics under consideration for final selection. Ms. Randall walked through the topic-selection process thus far, and explained the materials in the members’ packets. She explained that the subcommittee must choose one of the four economic development incentive topics, as required by law. Ms. Randall said that the topic that the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) found to be most promising (based on the LAC’s established criteria) was the Minnesota Investment Fund. Representative Hansen agreed with OLA’s assessment and moved this topic for recommendation to the LAC for final approval. The motion prevailed.

Ms. Randall went on to discuss the list of topics that had been included in the legislative survey. She noted that OLA had received 151 responses, indicating a good level of participation from legislators. She explained that members needed to narrow the list down to four topics. Ms. Randall also noted that the topic that received the most votes (Fiscal Impact of Federal Refugee Resettlement Programs) was actually the least promising on OLA’s assessment due to the potential lack of data. Therefore, she said that OLA is proposing a preliminary assessment of data availability, rather than an evaluation. Based on this assessment, the topic could be revisited during the following year’s topic selection process.

Senator Kiffmeyer asked members to go through the list of topics and select their top choice, but requested they not choose any topics that are being reviewed in other ways (i.e., MNIT may be reviewed through a legislative committee, and new legislation could affect the teacher diversity topic). After some discussion, Representative Hansen moved the following list of evaluation topics for approval by the full LAC:

Duplicative Agency Functions of Early Childhood Programs
Guardians ad Litem
Office of Health Facility Complaints
Voter Registration
Smaller scope of the Board of Animal Health (to be conducted in the fall)
Preliminary assessment of data availability on the Fiscal Impact of the Federal Refugee Resettlement Program

The motion prevailed. Representative Hansen also suggested discussing OLA’s budget at the full LAC meeting the following morning, and Senator Kiffmeyer concurred.

Senator Kiffmeyer invited Rick Heller to address the subcommittee. Mr. Heller said that OLA is improving its provision of accessible documents in a timely manner, but there is still room for improvement. He said that handouts accompanying meetings should be placed online at the same time as when they are released or earlier, which is not always done.

With no further business, Senator Kiffmeyer adjourned the meeting at 8:35 a.m.

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Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, LAC Chair

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Shelly Gilb, Recording Secretary

 

Mentioned

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