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Legislative Audit Commission

Minutes

June 6, 1999

The meeting of the Legislative Audit Commission was called to order by Representative Dan McElroy on Wednesday, June 9, 1999 at 10:10 A.M., in Room 400 North, State Office Building.

Members Present:

Representative Lynda Boudreau Senator William Belanger, Jr.
Representative Mindy Greiling Senator David Knutson
Representative Philip Krinkie Senator Keith Langseth
Representative Dan McElroy Senator Ember Reichgott Junge
Representative Wes Skoglund Senator Deanna Wiener

Members Not Present:

Representative Phil Carruthers Senator Dave Johnson
Representative Chris Gerlach Senator Sheila Kiscaden
Representative Kris Hasskamp Senator James Metzen
Representative Peggy Leppik Senator Thomas Neuville
Representative Mary Jo McGuire Senator Claire Robling

Representative McElroy recognized Roger Brooks, Deputy Legislative Auditor for the Program Evaluation Division. Mr. Brooks introduced Charlie Meyer, chair of the Best Practices Advisory Council. Mr. Meyer indicated that inasmuch as the commission had expressed interest in a program evaluation of school building maintenance, the Best Practices Advisory Council suggested that this topic be expanded to include a best practices review of building maintenance by all types of local governments.

Representative McElroy recognized Jody Hauer, project manager for best practices reviews. Ms. Hauer presented an evaluation proposal for this type of best practices review and answered questions from members. Commission members authorized the Program Evaluation Division to conduct the study.

Representative McElroy recognized Mr. Brooks and Jo Vos, project manager in the Program Evaluation Division. Mr. Brooks indicated that a roundtable on a possible study of state mandates on local governments had been held on June 2. He indicated that as a result, staff concluded that this was a “do-able” project. Ms. Vos reviewed what the scope of the study would be and some of the methods that would be used to conduct the study. In response to a question from Representative Greiling, Mr. Brooks indicated that schools would not be included in the study at this time because it would make it too large and staff would not be able to complete it in time for the next legislative session. He indicated this could possibly be a second phase of the study. Mr. Brooks and Ms. Vos answered additional questions from members. The Commission authorized the study.

Senator Wiener asked if a report card on what has happened as a result of reports issued in 1998 and 1999 could be compiled. Mr. Brooks responded that staff were in the process of compiling impact memos, which could be discussed at a later meeting.

Representative McElroy recognized Claudia Gudvangen, Deputy Legislative Auditor for the Financial Audit Division. Ms. Gudvangen explained the Statewide Audit, what audit staff review and its objectives.

Ms. Gudvangen introduced Jeanine Leifeld, Audit Manager for the audit of the Department of Human Services. Ms. Leifeld reviewed the areas the audit looked at and the seven audit findings, and answered questions from members.

Representative McElroy recognized David Ehrhardt, Director of Internal Audit for the Department of Human Services. Mr. Ehrhardt indicated he reports to the Assistant Commissioner for Finance and that the internal audit function has been in place in the department since 1995. He reviewed the various functions of his office and responded to questions from members.

Members discussed ways to raise the visibility of audit reports and Senator Wiener suggested a future Commission meeting be held to review findings from previous audit reports that agencies had not acted on.

Representative McElroy recognized Renee Redmer, Audit Manager for the audit of the Department of Public Safety. Ms. Redmer reviewed the audit findings and answered questions from members.

Representative McElroy recognized Katherine Burke Moore, Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services and Paul Aasen, Assistant Commissioner. Ms. Burke Moore and Mr. Aasen reviewed procedures used in making deposits and reporting. They noted plans for future improvements and answered questions from members.

Representative Skoglund asked what the role of the Office of the Legislative Auditor was concerning fiscal notes. Representative McElroy recognized James Nobles, Legislative Auditor. Mr. Nobles responded that the office has no involvement in developing or evaluating fiscal notes, and that when conducting an audit, the office looks at the final action taken by the Legislature, not the action leading to the law.

Representative McElroy requested that the audit report on St. Cloud State University be forwarded to the chairs of relevant committees.

The meeting adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

_______________________________________
Representative Dan McElroy, Chair

_______________________________________
Jean Barnhill, Recording Secretary

 

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