Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor
The auditor of Minnesota state government

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About Special Reviews

In addition to the financial audits and program evaluations OLA conducts annually, we also conduct a small number of ad hoc special reviews. Special reviews address specific concerns or allegations and, as a result, they typically have a more narrow scope than audits and evaluations.

State law gives OLA the authority to conduct special reviews (also called “investigations”). They are often triggered by concerns brought to OLA by legislators, other public officials, private individuals, or media reports.

Before initiating a review, we gather additional information about the issue, as well as the organization and people involved. During this preliminary stage, we ask the following questions:

  • Jurisdiction. Does OLA have jurisdiction? For more information about OLA’s jurisdiction see: https://www.auditor.leg.state.mn.us/juris.htm.
  • Need. Does OLA need to conduct a review to fulfill its legal responsibilities and mission? Does OLA need to conduct a review to provide legislators and/or the general public with assurance that the allegations and issues will be addressed thoroughly by an independent, nonpartisan office?
  • Timing. If OLA needs to conduct a review, do we need to start immediately or can we wait? If we can wait, approximately when will we begin?
  • Scope and Methods. What specific issues will OLA address and what methods will OLA use to address them?
  • Staff and Impact. Which OLA staff members will be involved in the review? What impact will their involvement have on other assignments?
  • Alternatives. Could the issue be better addressed in an OLA financial audit or evaluation, or by another office?

For a list of special review reports issued by OLA see: Special Review Reports.

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Office of the Legislative Auditor ♦ Room 140, 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55155