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3 golden objects Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Legislative Auditor - Program Evaluation Division

Intermediate Program Evaluator

Agency Overview
The Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) is a nonpartisan professional office in Minnesota state government.  OLA audits and evaluates state agencies and programs, identifies their strengths and weaknesses, and recommends improvements to legislators and agency officials.

The issues addressed in OLA evaluations are often complex and controversial.  An ability to conduct nonpartisan, accurate, and objective research is essential.  A person in this position would work with a small team of evaluators under the close supervision of a project manager, and must have the ability to independently work on research assignments consistent with high professional standards and within a limited time budget.

Position Information

  • Salary range is from $23.49 to $34.46 per hour, the equivalent of $49,047 to $71,952 per year.  The Legislative Auditor will determine the starting salary (within the above salary range) based on a successful applicant’s qualifications.
  • Evaluators typically work Monday through Friday (hours are flexible).  Office policy allows occasional telecommuting, pending supervisor approval and fulfilling performance requirements.  Some travel within the state may be required.
  • Up to three (3) positions may be filled from this posting.

Job Duties
The Intermediate Program Evaluator will:

  • Assist in planning evaluations and developing research designs.
  • Conduct interviews, site visits, and document reviews, and analyze their results.
  • Analyze existing research reports and state and federal laws and statutes.
  • Help design, administer, and analyze surveys.
  • Manage, clean, and analyze large data sets.
  • Assist in synthesizing complex, multilayered information into logical conclusions.
  • Assist in the preparation of written findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
  • Produce tables, figures, and other graphics displaying research results.
  • Assist other program evaluation staff and the Legislative Auditor as needed.

Minimum Qualifications
To be considered, a candidate must submit a cover letter and must have:

  • Completed a graduate degree program in the social sciences, public policy, applied economics, or a closely related field.
  • Computer skills, including experience using word processing, spreadsheet, database, and statistical software (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and SPSS or STATA).
  • Training or experience organizing data and performing quantitative analyses.
  • Training or experience collecting information through interviews, surveys, or focus groups.
  • Training or experience in critically reviewing professional research literature.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to write clearly and concisely on complex topics.
  • A demonstrated ability to work effectively, both independently and as part of a team.
  • The ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with coworkers, legislative staff, and staff in the agencies being evaluated.
  • Strong organizational skills and demonstrated attention to detail.
  • Knowledge of state government and the legislative process.

Preferred Qualifications
The ideal candidate will have:

  • Proficiency in quantitative and qualitative research.
  • Program evaluation training or experience and an understanding of analytical methods used in program evaluation.
  • Training or experience in critically analyzing demographic, economic, and financial data, as well as complex government-funded programs.
  • Training or experience with applied research methods, including validity and reliability assessments, statistical analysis, cost-benefit analysis, and sampling techniques.
  • Training or experience conducting legal research.
  • Proficiency in writing reports on public policy topics.
  • Experience obtaining and handling sensitive information.

Additional Requirements

  • Cover letters and resumes will be reviewed to identify applicants meeting minimum and preferred requirements.  Selected applicants will go through an interview process and will be required to submit writing samples, education transcripts, and employment references.  At the time of the interview, applicants may be asked to draft a written response to an essay question. 
  • Background checks will be conducted prior to any employment offer.  Personal integrity is an essential qualification to work at OLA, and certain violations of ethical or legal standards relevant to being an evaluator at OLA may disqualify an applicant. 
  • Applicants may be disqualified for prior partisan work experience.
  • Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States without needing sponsorship for an employment visa (e.g., H1B status).

Why Work for Us
MEANINGFUL WORK!  OLA promotes accountability in state government by strengthening legislative oversight, supporting good management, and enhancing program effectiveness in state agencies.  The Program Evaluation Division identifies opportunities for improvement in state-funded programs and makes recommendations to the Legislature and state agencies.

GREAT BENEFITS PACKAGE!  The State of Minnesota offers a comprehensive benefits package, including low-cost medical and dental insurance, employer-paid life insurance, short- and long-term disability, pre-tax flexible spending accounts, retirement plan, tax-deferred compensation, generous vacation and sick leave, and 11 paid holidays each year.

How to Apply
Interested applicants must submit a cover letter with their resume through the state’s Careers website.  You may do this by uploading them together as a single file attachment, or uploading the cover letter separately from the resume.  If you are unable to apply online or need help, please contact the job information line at 651-259-3637. 

Intermediate Program Evaluator – Job ID 39750  (Posting closes at 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020.)

Contact for More Information
If you have job-specific questions, contact Judy Randall at or 651-296-1227.  For benefits-related questions, contact Shelly Gilb at or 651-296-1730.

More Information