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Office of the Legislative Auditor

Minnesota law allows anyone who submits a data request to inspect for free public data the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) maintains and receive copies for a cost. For more information about what data OLA maintains, go to the OLA Data.

An individual may also inspect private data on themselves, child, or an individual for whom he or she is legal guardian, if certain requirements are met such as proof of identity.

To request data, fill out the appropriate OLA request form and submit it to OLA:

We will acknowledge data requests within 10 business days.

OLA will review all requests to determine if it has the data you request. In addition, Minnesota law requires OLA to protect not public data. As a result, OLA must review documents in their entirety before providing them to you to ensure they do not contain not public data. After gathering all relevant information, OLA will contact requesters to arrange a date and time to inspect the data. For requests that include copies of documents, OLA will notify requesters when it has sent all relevant information by mail or by e-mail.

What information does OLA have?

Almost all of the information OLA maintains is related to its audits, evaluations, and special reviews. Therefore, OLA information is largely about other government agencies and the programs they administer.

How do I get information about OLA’s audits, evaluations, and special reviews?

The fastest way to obtain information that OLA has about agencies and programs is to explore its list of reports on the OLA main website page. Paper copies of OLA reports are also free.

Does OLA have more information that is not included in its reports?

OLA maintains “workpapers” of each audit, evaluation, and special review. These workpapers show the process OLA followed and document the evidence underlying each report.

How long does OLA maintain data?

OLA reports are available on the website indefinitely. OLA maintains workpapers, however, for five years after a report’s release date.

Does OLA maintain any other information not related to its reports?

OLA also maintains information related to our budget, personnel, and other administrative activities.

How do I make a request for public data?

OLA highly recommends using its public government data request form, which will streamline the data request process. If necessary, OLA will accept other written requests for data such as e-mails, letters, or memoranda.

What information will I need to provide on the form?

Your request for public government data should clearly describe what data you are seeking, for example, specific documents or date ranges. This will help OLA fulfill your request as quickly as possible.

Your request should also describe whether you would like to inspect the data, receive copies, or both.

Can I make an anonymous request?

OLA cannot require anyone to identify themselves or explain the reason for seeking public government data. Providing contact information will allow OLA to contact you, however, if OLA has clarifying questions about your request.

How does OLA fulfill government data requests?

OLA will review all requests to determine if it has the data you request. In addition, Minnesota law requires OLA to protect not public data. As a result, OLA must review documents in their entirety before providing them to you to ensure they do not contain not public data. After gathering all relevant information, OLA will contact requesters to arrange a date and time to inspect the data. For requests that include copies of documents, OLA will notify requesters when it has sent all relevant information by mail or by e-mail.

*Requesting Data about Yourself, Your Child, or a Person for Whom You Serve As Guardian

How do I request these kinds of data?

OLA highly recommends using its form, which will streamline the data request process. If necessary, OLA will accept other written requests for data such as e-mails, letters, or memoranda.

What information will I need to provide on the form?

Your request for data should clearly describe the data you are seeking, for example, specific documents or date ranges. This will help OLA fulfill your request as quickly as possible.

Your request should also describe whether you would like to inspect the data, receive copies, or both.

Can I make a request without providing contact information?

OLA cannot require anyone to identify themselves or explain the reason for seeking government data that is public. If, however, the data you request about yourself, child, or a person for whom you serve as guardian is private, you will have to include contact information as well as provide other forms of identification in person.

If your request includes private data, OLA has added requirements.

If you are seeking private data about yourself, your child, or a person for whom you serve as guardian, OLA must confirm that it provides this data only to those who have authority to obtain it. As a result, you must visit our office and provide proof of identity such as:

  • State driver’s license
  • Military ID
  • Passport
  • Minnesota ID
  • Minnesota Tribal ID

In addition, if you are requesting data about your child or are a guardian of a minor, you must provide:

  • A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate or certified copy of documents that establish the parent or guardian’s relationship to the child, such as:

    • A court order of a divorce, separation, custody, foster care
    • A foster care contract
    • An affidavit of parentage

If you are requesting data about an adult for whom you are guardian, you must also provide documentation of your appointment as guardian, such as a court order or valid power of attorney.

How does OLA fulfill government data requests?

OLA will review all requests to determine if it has the data you request. In addition, Minnesota law requires OLA to protect not public data. As a result, OLA must review documents in their entirety before providing them to you to ensure they do not contain not public data or that you are authorized to receive them under Minnesota law. After gathering all relevant information, OLA will contact requesters to arrange a date and time to inspect the data. For requests that include copies of documents, OLA will notify requesters when it has sent all relevant information by mail or by e-mail.

Inspecting government data is free but OLA may charge for copies that exceed 100 pages.

Copies of documents (100 or fewer pages)

No charge

Copies of documents (100 or more pages)

We will notify you in advance of the anticipated cost of fulfilling your request. Cost will include:

   25 cents per page
   Staff time to produce the copies
   Mailing and delivery costs

 

Minnesota law designates an agency official as the individual responsible for the collection, use, and dissemination of any set of data on individuals, government data, or summary data, unless otherwise provided by state law.

OLA’s responsible authority is:

James Nobles, Legislative Auditor

Office of the Legislative Auditor
658 Cedar Street, Room 140
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
651-296-4708