Memo to Press: Available Tools on Updated OSA Website - April 9, 2021
April 9, 2021
To: Reporters and Editors
From: Donald McFarland
RE: Available Tools on Updated OSA Website
Earlier this week the Office of State Auditor Julie Blaha rolled out its updated website. I’d like to highlight some of the helpful and easily accessible tools and resources that are available.
The County Comparison Tool, City Comparison Tool, and the Town Comparison Tool allow users to compare local governments in the areas of population, tax levy, revenues, expenditures, capital outlay, and debt service. These tools also allow users to view the rank of the unit of government on a per capita basis for each line item.
The Infrastructure Stress Transparency Tool is an interactive map that allows users to visualize data on Minnesota’s civil infrastructure. Users can also generate reports for cities or special districts, compare side-by-side analysis of these entities, and use a variety of filters for statewide or regional analysis.
The Office of the State Auditor (OSA) issues several yearly, statewide reports such as the Asset Forfeiture Report, the Municipal Liquor Store Report, and the Local Government Lobbying Report. The OSA also publishes audit reports and, in response to specific allegations of theft, embezzlement, or other improper use of public funds, finalized Special Investigation Reports and Review Letters.
Below are the approximate release dates for OSA Annual Reports:
February: City Finances Report
March: County Finances Report
May: Special District Finances Report
June: City and County Budget Reports
July: Local Government Lobbying Report
September: Asset Forfeiture Report
November: Township Finances Report
December: Municipal Liquor Store Report
The Legal Compliance Guide prescribes the standards for legal compliance audits of government entities. The OSA’s Statements of Position provide educational resources relevant to local governments, local government auditors, and volunteer fire relief associations.
The OSA website is home to the State Auditor's Form Entry System (SAFES) which makes it easy for local governments to report financial information. Users will also find the Small City and Town Accounting System, known as the CTAS program, which assists local government in maintaining accounting records and assists in bookkeeping tasks.