|Public Release Date: August 2, 1996||No. 96-30|
The Office of Administrative Hearings was established in 1975 under the provisions of Minn. Stat. Sections 14.48 through 14.56. The Legislature established the office to provide a fair, prompt, and impartial hearing process for citizens who disagreed with actions taken by government. The office consists of two divisions: the administrative law division and the workers' compensation division. The administrative law division bills for its services. The workers' compensation division receives appropriations from the Special Workers' Compensation Fund. The administrative law division conducts hearings under the Administrative Procedures Act. The administrative law judges also conduct hearings for certain local governments and for child support cases. The judges within the workers' compensation division hear workers' compensation benefit cases, pursuant to Minn. Stat. Chapter 176.
The governor appoints a chief administrative law judge for a six-year term, with the advice and consent of the Senate. Kevin Johnson, the current Chief Administrative Law Judge, began his term on July 30, 1993. William Brown, the former Chief Administrative Law Judge, served for five years between July 1988 and July 1993.
Our audit scope included: fees, payroll, professional/technical contracts, rent and parking, and other administrative expenditures for the period from July 1, 1991, through June 30, 1995.
We found that the Office of Administrative Hearings properly processed and collected fees from governmental units for the cost of conducting hearings for the period reviewed. The Office of Administrative Hearings generated sufficient revenues to recover the cost of hearings.
The Office of Administrative Hearings spent its state appropriations within its appropriation limits and statutory authority. We found that the office's expenditures generally were accurate and reasonable. However, we found that the office did not properly record and pay compensatory time for its administrative law judges.