The Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) is subject to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13. As a result, people may request access to information OLA has obtained or created, and maintained.1 The purpose of this policy is to help people understand the type of information OLA maintains and how people can request access to that information.
In responding to a request, OLA has a dual obligation: we must provide access to information the requester has a right to examine, but we must also protect from “unlawful disclosure” information the requester does not have a right to examine.
Almost all of the information OLA maintains is related to the audits, evaluations, and special reviews we conduct. Therefore, OLA information is largely about other government agencies and the programs they administer.
The quickest way for a person to find out what information OLA has about agencies and programs is to examine the list of reports OLA has issued. These reports contain a significant amount of information, and they are immediately available without charge. The list of OLA reports can be accessed from the homepage of this website.
In addition to the information OLA discloses in its reports, OLA maintains “work papers” for each audit, evaluation, and special review. The primary purpose of work papers is to document the process by which an audit, evaluation, or special review was conducted, as well as to provide detailed evidence to substantiate and support what is contained in an OLA report. OLA maintains work papers for five years after we release a report.
OLA also maintains information related to our personnel, budget, and other administrative activities. People may also request this information. In response, as the law requires, OLA will provide information that is public and protect from unlawful disclosure information that is not public.
As noted, OLA reports are immediately available without charge. However, if you want additional OLA information, here are several important things to keep in mind:
For more information about your rights to access government data, see Minnesota Statutes, 13.03. For more information about OLA’s data disclosure authority and responsibilities, see Minnesota Statutes, 3.979.
James Nobles, Legislative Auditor, is the “Responsible Authority” at OLA for administration of the Government Data Practices Act.
1 The Government Data Practices Act uses the term “data” to include any information contained in a physical form (for example, in a document, e-mail, photograph, audio and video recording, etc.). In this policy, we use data and information as synonymous terms.