A bill intended to make audited agencies more responsive to recommendations by the state auditor’s office was passed April 24.
As introduced by Sen. John Stinner of Gering, LB151 requires entities subject to a comment or recommendation by the auditor of public accounts to electronically submit a written report detailing any corrective action it has taken or plans to take in response. State colleges and the University of Nebraska are excluded from the requirement. Agencies must submit the report no more than six months after the comment or recommendation was issued.
The auditor of public accounts then will evaluate the report and submit findings to the governor and the appropriate legislative committee. The bill also requires the auditor to deliver the report to the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee so that it may be entered into the record during the committee’s budget hearing process.
The bill was amended to include provisions from four additional bills.
LB27, introduced by Sen. John Murante of Gretna, allows the state auditor’s office to penalize governing bodies that do not provide the auditor with requested information regarding trade names under which the body operates and any interlocal agreements to which it is a party by Sept. 20 of each year. The auditor may assess a late fee of $20 per day, up to a maximum penalty of $2,000.
LB89, introduced by Sen. Dan Hughes of Venango, reduces the period of public notice that a governing body is required to provide before holding a hearing on its proposed budget statement from at least five days to at least four calendar days.
LB90, also sponsored by Hughes, requires a public entity under audit or examination by the auditor of public accounts to provide the auditor with accommodations at the location where the requested records are kept. The accommodations must include desks or tables and chairs, electrical outlets and internet access if it is available.
LB101, also introduced by Stinner, prohibits state agencies from extending a contract for services for a period of more than 50 percent of the initial contract term.
As amended, LB151 also prohibits the auditor of public accounts from revealing sealed or confidential court records contained in working papers.
Senators voted 49-0 to pass the bill.