In a hearing, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee may direct the Legislative Audit Bureau to conduct audits and evaluations, receive and review reports issued by the Bureau, and may introduce legislation pertaining to Bureau recommendations.
In advance of a hearing at which the Committee will consider a proposed audit, the State Auditor prepares a brief memorandum called a “scope memorandum.” The Bureau publishes this scope memorandum on its website and links it to the public hearing notice. The Committee will use the State Auditor’s scope memorandum as the basis for its deliberation on the proposed audit at the hearing. This document provides background information on the proposed audit topic and outlines, in broad terms, the audit work the Bureau could perform if the Committee were to direct the Bureau to perform the proposed audit. At such a hearing, the State Auditor will briefly discuss the scope memorandum and respond to questions from the Committee. The Committee then typically receives testimony from the head of the agency or agencies involved in the subject of the proposed audit. The Committee also may receive testimony from other interested parties, including members of the public. After it has heard this testimony, the Committee will typically hold an executive session to vote on whether to direct the Bureau to perform the proposed audit as outlined in the scope memorandum. If the Committee directs the Bureau to perform the proposed audit, then the audit is listed on the “Audits in Progress” page on the Bureau’s website until a final audit report is issued by the Bureau.
Hearings at which the Committee receives and reviews audit reports issued by the Bureau typically follow a standard process, although the specific agenda for each hearing is at the discretion of the Committee co-chairpersons. Such hearings begin with a brief summary presentation by the State Auditor and Bureau staff. The State Auditor then responds to questions from Committee members. The State Auditor’s presentation is followed by an appearance by the head of the agency that was subject to the audit. The agency head makes a brief presentation about the audit findings and discusses the agency’s response to the audit recommendations. After committee members ask questions of the agency head, the Committee may receive testimony from other interested parties, including members of the public and interested organizations who wish to testify on the audit findings and recommendations.
Hearings at which the Committee either introduces or considers proposed legislation in response to Bureau recommendations typically follow the Legislature’s process for committee consideration of bills.