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

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About OLA Special Reviews

OLA must commit most of its staff to conducting financial audits and program evaluations required by law. However, throughout the year, legislators, other public officials, and private individuals contact OLA with concerns and allegations they want us to address. In addition, we often become aware of issues in media reports and from other sources that may require action by OLA.

We decide how to respond on a case-by-case basis after we gather additional information about the nature of the issues, as well as the organization and people involved. If we decide that OLA needs to address the issues relatively soon, we will conduct a special review.

As we consider what action to take, we apply the following criteria and address the following questions:

  • Jurisdiction and Authority. Does OLA have jurisdiction over the organization and/or individual(s) involved? Does OLA have authority to investigate the issues?
  • 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 an allegation or issue 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. Would a special review be large and complex, narrow and straightforward, or somewhere in between? Will OLA need to interview people under oath, use our subpoena power, and/or involve law enforcement?
  • Staff and Impact. Which OLA staff will be involved in the review? What impact will their involvement have on other assignments?

As we go through this decision-making process, we consider alternative ways to address the issues. For example, we will consider whether the issues can be addressed in a forthcoming financial audit. We will also consider proposing that the Legislative Audit Commission approve OLA address the issues in an evaluation.

For a list of special reviews OLA is currently conducting see: Special Reviews In-Progress

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