We remain concerned about the outcome—the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) convinced lawmakers to reclassify a great deal of its investigative data that previously had been public. But MNCOGI helped blunt the initiative’s worst effects.
Citing concerns that it frequently receives spurious or politically motivated complaints about people and nonprofits, the Legislative Auditor proposed to withhold information about virtually anything they do, so long as a final report on the matter never gets issued.
In MNCOGI’s view, that would result in an untenable situation in which neither journalists nor interested citizens would be able to “audit to the auditors,” by reviewing documentation on complaints that the office never pursued. MNCOGI staunchly opposed that outcome.
In direct negotiations with the OLA and by working with key legislators and other key advocates, MNCOGI convinced the Legislature to more narrowly tailor the OLA’s request, keeping secret only identifying information about the individuals or nonprofits that are the subject of unreviewed allegations.
We don’t regard this as a complete victory, but we do feel we successfully kept open an important window into the highly important behind-the-scenes work of the OLA.