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3 golden objects Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Legislative Auditor

Legislative Audit Commission


September 10, 2021

Members Present:  
Representative Connie Bernardy Senator Michelle Benson
Representative Sondra Erickson Senator Nick A. Frentz
Representative Rick Hansen Senator Mary Kiffmeyer
Representative Tina Liebling Senator Matt D. Klein
Representative Duane Quam Senator Mark W. Koran
  Senator Ann H. Rest

Member Absent:                                                                           
Representative Nels Pierson

Senator Koran, Chair, called the Legislative Audit Commission (LAC) meeting to order at 9:02 a.m. He said the purpose of the meeting was to acknowledge Jim Nobles’ retirement announcement and to approve the recruitment and appointment process for a new legislative auditor.

Senator Koran began by providing his thanks to Mr. Nobles for his many years of service and for the legacy he will leave behind. Other members took turns sharing their appreciation for Mr. Nobles, including Senator Kiffmeyer, Representative Bernardy, Senator Frentz, and Senator Rest.

Mr. Nobles thanked the members for their kind comments and their support over the years. He said it is really the office that is the “institution,” not him, and that the LAC is a big part of that institution as well. He talked about the early beginnings of the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA), and how he had been asked to write a plan for creating the OLA. Mr. Nobles expressed his gratitude for being part of the OLA for all of these years.

Senator Koran turned the meeting to the next agenda item, and introduced Michelle Weber, Executive Director for the Legislative Coordinating Commission (LCC). Ms. Weber explained the estimated timeline for appointing a new legislative auditor, which she said was a best-case scenario. She said that the proposed timeline includes a multi-phased screening and appointment process.

In response to Representative Hansen’s question, Ms. Weber said that the new legislative auditor would be appointed to a full six-year term. Representative Hansen asked whether Mr. Nobles would perform annual performance reviews on the Deputy Legislative Auditors, since those reviews would be due in November. Mr. Nobles committed to completing the reviews before his last day.

There was some discussion about which members should be part of the four-member panel of the LAC that would conduct private interviews of the candidates. Representative Hansen made a motion to adopt the recommendations made by members to change the process, as follows: The panel would include one individual identified by each caucus within each body and one alternate who may also participate in the interviews, but each caucus would have only one vote. A verbal roll call vote was taken and the motion passed.

Senator Koran said the last item that needed to be considered was that the LCC Director would work with the LAC Chair and Vice Chair to appoint an interim legislative auditor: someone from within OLA, but who would not be seeking to apply for appointment to a six-year term. Senator Rest motioned to adopt the recommendation. A verbal roll call vote was taken and the motion passed.

After some discussion regarding the requirement of candidates to be nonpartisan, it was decided to leave the wording as suggested in the proposed job posting and job description.

With no further business, Senator Koran adjourned the meeting at 10:26 a.m.

Senator Mark W. Koran, Chair

Shelly Gilb, Recording Secretary