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Legislative Audit Commission

Evaluation Subcommittee


May 19, 2016

Members Present: Members Absent:
Representative Rick Hansen, Chair    Senator Mary Kiffmeyer
Representative Connie BernardySenator Warren Limmer

Representative Rick Hansen called the Legislative Audit Commission Evaluation Subcommittee meeting to order at 8:01 a.m. The purpose of the meeting was to release the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) evaluation, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI).

Representative Hansen introduced Judy Randall, Deputy Legislative Auditor, OLA Program Evaluation Division, who said the only announcement she had was that in one week, OLA would release its final evaluation for 2016, Department of Natural Resources: Deer Population Management. She said the release would be in the same room at 10:00 a.m.

Ms. Randall gave a brief introduction about the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI). She then introduced Carrie Meyerhoff, Evaluation Manager, to present the overall findings of the report. Ms. Meyerhoff gave an overview of the key findings of the evaluation, which were: (1) AURI does not sufficiently measure its performance, (2) AURI’s project-selection processes consider a range of views but have some weaknesses, (3) state law may affect the performance of AURI’s board of directors, and (4) AURI’s board has not always complied with the Open Meeting Law. Ms. Meyerhoff highlighted the following recommendations made by the evaluation: (1) AURI should more consistently and comprehensively measure the impact of its work and improve its annual report to the Legislature; (2) AURI should develop a policy for charging for its services; (3) AURI should require more formal information from clients who seek a significant amount of services; (4) the Legislature should amend state law to expand AURI’s board of directors to include at-large members of the board’s choosing; (5) the Legislature should clarify what type of organization AURI’s board is for purposes of the Open Meeting Law; and (6) AURI’s board should comply with the Open Meeting Law.

Representative Hansen invited the AURI representatives to address the subcommittee. Shannon Schlecht, AURI Executive Director, and Ron Obermoller, Chair of the AURI Board of Directors, introduced themselves for the record. Mr. Schlecht said that a lot of new changes have occurred since he was hired in September/October 2015. He said AURI agrees with the issues and recommendations made by the evaluation and that AURI has already begun implementing changes to improve processes, such as a revised rate matrix and impact reporting, among other things. Mr. Schlecht thanked OLA for their thorough assessment.

With no further business, Representative Hansen adjourned the meeting at 8:51 a.m.

Representative Rick Hansen, Chair

Shelly Watterud, Recording Secretary


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