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3 golden objects Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Legislative Auditor

Statutory Authority

Minnesota Statutes 2022, 3.971 through 3.979, give the Legislative Auditor broad authority to audit state agencies, evaluate public programs, and investigate alleged misuse of public money.  In addition, public officials and employees, and individuals and organizations that receive, disburse, or have custody of public money are required to cooperate with the Legislative Auditor.  The following are key excerpts that establish the Legislative Auditor's legal authority:

  • Minnesota Statutes 2022, 3.971, subd. 6, states:  “The legislative auditor shall audit the financial statements of the state of Minnesota required by section 16A.50 and, as resources permit, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the University of Minnesota, state agencies, departments, boards, commissions, offices, courts, and other organizations subject to audit by the legislative auditor, including, but not limited to, the State Agricultural Society, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, Enterprise Minnesota, Inc., Minnesota Historical Society, Clearway Minnesota, Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, Metropolitan Airports Commission, and Metropolitan Mosquito Control District. Financial audits must be conducted according to generally accepted government auditing standards. The legislative auditor shall see that all provisions of law respecting the appropriate and economic use of public funds and other public resources are complied with and may, as part of a financial audit or separately, investigate allegations of noncompliance.”

  • Minnesota Statutes 2022, 3.971, subd. 7, states, in part:  “The legislative auditor shall conduct program evaluations to determine the degree to which the activities and programs entered into or funded by the state are accomplishing their goals and objectives….  At the direction of the commission the legislative auditor may conduct program evaluations of any state department, board, commission, or agency and any metropolitan agency, board, or commission created under chapter 473; or any program or activity established or funded, in whole or in part, by the state….”

  • Minnesota Statutes 2022, 3.978, subd. 2, states:  “All public officials and their deputies and employees, and all corporations, firms, and individuals having business involving the receipt, disbursement, or custody of public funds shall at all times afford reasonable facilities for examinations by the legislative auditor, make returns and reports required by the legislative auditor, attend and answer under oath the legislative auditor's lawful inquiries, produce and exhibit all books, accounts, documents, data of any classification, and property that the legislative auditor may need to inspect, and in all things aid the legislative auditor in the performance of duties."

 In addition to these general statutory provisions, other sections of Minnesota Statutes grant the Legislative Auditor authority to audit specific organizations. A list of these provisions can be accessed here: Additional Statutory References.

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