Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/16/2003 01:49 PM House FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE BILL NO. 45                                                                                                            
     An Act relating to the Legislative Budget and Audit                                                                        
SENATOR LYDA  GREEN noted  that SB 45  was an act  related to                                                                   
the  Legislative  Budget  and  Audit (LBA)  Committee.    The                                                                   
statute lacks  any penalties for those who  are uncooperative                                                                   
or  who undermine  the  work  of the  committee.    SB 45  is                                                                   
designed  to remedy that  by providing  prosecutors  with the                                                                   
necessary  tools to  deter and  punish those  who hinder  the                                                                   
investigative work of that committee.                                                                                           
A legislative auditor conducts three kinds of audits:                                                                           
   ·    A "look-see" at an agency;                                                                                              
   ·    Review of boards due to sunset; and                                                                                     
   ·    Post audits.                                                                                                            
When concerns  are presented to  the Legislature,  audits may                                                                   
be  conducted.    Senator  Green   pointed  out  that  audits                                                                   
conducted  this  year  have  provided  important  legislative                                                                   
information.   The bill assigns a penalty  for non-compliance                                                                   
with an audit and includes provisions  for "whistle blowers",                                                                   
on Page  2, Section 4, to  provide protection  for employees.                                                                   
Senator  Green  added  that  penalties   and  sanctions  were                                                                   
included since these situations can be serious.                                                                                 
Co-Chair  Harris  MOVED  to ADOPT  work  draft  #23-LS0205\W,                                                                   
Luckhaupt, 5/15/03, as the version  of the legislation before                                                                   
the Committee.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                       
Representative  Stoltze  realized   that  when  an  audit  is                                                                   
performed, there  are external  forces that attempt  to delay                                                                   
the  release of  information.   He asked  if the  legislation                                                                   
would cover that concern.                                                                                                       
PAT  DAVIDSON,  DIRECTOR,  DIVISION   OF  LEGISLATIVE  AUDIT,                                                                   
responded   that   the   legislation   could   address   that                                                                   
"indirectly".   SB 45 will  eliminate the obstruction  during                                                                   
the course of the  audit, which will allow the  audit to move                                                                   
forward faster.   The  bill will  enhance the efficiency  and                                                                   
timeliness of the audit process.                                                                                                
Representative   Kerttula   voiced   appreciation   for   the                                                                   
sponsor's changes.  She referenced  Page 3, Lines 9 & 10, "or                                                                   
other matters within the authority  of Legislative Budget and                                                                   
Audit  Committee".   She asked  for an example  of the  range                                                                   
that language indicates.                                                                                                        
Ms.  Davidson  explained  that the  Division  of  Legislative                                                                   
Budget and Audit performs audits.   The Division can be asked                                                                   
to  prepare  reports,  memorandums and/or  other  matters  as                                                                   
directed  by the  Committee.   They attempt  to approach  all                                                                   
official  responsibilities that  may be  delegated under  the                                                                   
auspicious of the LBA Committee.                                                                                                
Representative Kerttula voiced  concern of "how minimal" that                                                                   
might be.                                                                                                                       
JACQUELINE  TUPOU,  STAFF, SENATOR  LYDA  GREEN,  interjected                                                                   
that when  writing the  legislation, it  was agreed  that the                                                                   
whistle  blower statute  should be  as broad  as possible  in                                                                   
order to be able to access all information.                                                                                     
Representative   Kerttula   asked   about  the   section   of                                                                   
information  that  allows  going  into  the  State  employees                                                                   
files.  Information  could be added to the  file regarding if                                                                   
that  employee  had been  dismissed  or disciplined  for  the                                                                   
violation  of interference  with  LBA.   She  asked if  other                                                                   
crimes were intended to be included in that language.                                                                           
Ms. Davidson explained that because  one of the penalties was                                                                   
a   disciplinary  action   regarding   the  personnel   laws,                                                                   
disciplinary laws are confidential.   If someone had violated                                                                   
the statute,  the knowledge  of that  could not be  concealed                                                                   
through the  confidentiality of  the personnel records.   The                                                                   
language  of the  bill  allows  that misconduct  be  publicly                                                                   
TAPE HFC 03 - 98, Side B                                                                                                      
Senator  Green  advised  that   the  Department  of  Law  was                                                                   
initially opposed  to the legislation, but clarified  for the                                                                   
record that they now do support current language.                                                                               
SCOTT NORDSTRAND,  DEPUTY ATTORNEY  GENERAL, CIVIL  DIVISION,                                                                   
DEPARTMENT  OF LAW, voiced  the Department's  support  of the                                                                   
current committee substitute and  reiterated that the bill is                                                                   
Representative Foster MOVED to  report HCS CS SB 45 (FIN) out                                                                   
of Committee  with  individual recommendations  and with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note.  There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
HCS  CS SB  45 (FIN)  was reported  out of  Committee with  a                                                                   
"do pass" recommendation and with  zero fiscal note #1 by the                                                                   
Department  of Administration  and  a new  zero  note by  the                                                                   
Department of Law.                                                                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects