Press Release: Statement from State Auditor Julie Blaha on Governor Walz’s Executive Order to Extend Local Government Reporting Requirements
For Immediate Release
March 27, 2020
Donald McFarland | 651-236-0494
Saint Paul, MN – “In Minnesota, local governments are an essential part of our everyday lives,” said Auditor Blaha. “They are the frontline force in delivering health care, transportation, and public safety resources every day. As such, they are a vital component of the success of our response to COVID-19. It is essential that local governments are able to focus on what matters most right now: the health of our communities.”
Today, Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-22 that gives the State Auditor the discretion to suspend, extend, or otherwise modify any state statutorily imposed deadline or reporting requirement pertaining to reports or other filings to the OSA.
“We want to clear every obstacle in their path,” Blaha continued. “By extending local government reporting requirements that get in the way of responding to the virus, we will increase the success of our mitigation efforts.”
“Local government staff and officials are rising to the occasion. The Office of the Minnesota State Auditor is proud to support their work and stands ready to serve local governments in any way we can,” Blaha added.
The Minnesota State Auditor is the constitutional officer charged with overseeing the finances of local government units, including their expenditure of nearly $40 billion annually. This oversight occurs through a variety of local government reporting requirements and deadlines mandated in part by Minnesota statutes. In some instances, failure to meet these statutory requirements and deadlines can result in withholding of state aid or other fiscal consequences.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required local governments to rapidly shift priorities and resources and to do so under physical working conditions and challenges that strain their usual processes. During this time, it is critical that we support our local governments and give them flexibility, when appropriate, to adjust normal operations in order to allow government staff to focus on the urgent demands and needs in their community.
The Office of the State Auditor is the constitutional office that oversees nearly $40 billion in local government finances for Minnesota taxpayers. The Office of the State Auditor helps to ensure financial integrity and accountability in local government financial activities. Julie Blaha is Minnesota’s 19th State Auditor. Follow us on Twitter @MNStateAuditor.