Minnesota Statutes 3.971 through 3.979 give the Legislative Auditor broad authority to audit state agencies, evaluate public programs, and investigate alleged misuse of public money. In addition, public officials and employees, and individuals and organizations that receive, disburse, or have custody of public money are required to cooperate with the Legislative Auditor. The following are key excerpts that establish the Legislative Auditor's legal authority:
Minnesota Statutes 2012, 3.971, subd. 6, states: “The legislative auditor shall audit the financial statements of the state of Minnesota required by section 16A.50 and, as resources permit, shall audit Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the University of Minnesota, state agencies, departments, boards, commissions, courts, and other state organizations subject to audit by the legislative auditor, including the State Agricultural Society, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, Enterprise Minnesota, Inc., Minnesota Historical Society, Labor Interpretive Center, Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco, Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, Metropolitan Airports Commission, and Metropolitan Mosquito Control District. Financial audits must be conducted according to generally accepted government auditing standards. The legislative auditor shall see that all provisions of law respecting the appropriate and economic use of public funds are complied with and may, as part of a financial audit or separately, investigate allegations of noncompliance.”
Minnesota Statutes 2012, 3.971, subd. 7, states, in part: “The legislative auditor shall conduct program evaluations to determine the degree to which the activities and programs entered into or funded by the state are accomplishing their goals and objectives…. At the direction of the commission the legislative auditor may conduct program evaluations of any state department, board, commission, or agency and any metropolitan agency, board, or commission created under chapter 473; or any program or activity established or funded, in whole or in part, by the state….”
In addition to these general statutory provisions, other sections of Minnesota Statutes grant the Legislative Auditor authority to audit specific organizations. A list of these provisions can be accessed here: Additional Statutory References.