ST. PAUL, MN – Today, the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) issued a report showing Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) has failed to properly oversee millions of taxpayer dollars in its Odyssey Investment Fund.
Following the report’s release, Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth), Chair of the House State Government Finance Committee, issued the following statement.
“MNIT’s Odyssey Account represents yet another slush fund of the Dayton Administration and reveals the agency’s mismanagement of taxpayer dollars and failure to oversee projects.” Chair Anderson said. “I am deeply concerned that this latest case of mismanagement – much like the Stadium Reserve Fund, MNSure and MNLARS – wastes millions of taxpayer dollars that could be used for investments in areas such as education, health care, or tax relief for Minnesota families.”
The report found that, as of March 2018, the account’s balance was approximately $23 million, representing money transferred into the account but not yet used to pay project expenditures. It also found that $8 million transferred into the account for four projects did not have project requests and that 95 of the 209 projects approved between 2007 and 2017 had not been completed.
As an example of MNIT’s mismanagement, Chair Anderson also pointed out that the report found that in 2015 the Department of Health spent money developing an unnecessary legislative bill tracker while countless senior care complaints were being received and going unresolved. Clearly, the agency prioritized bill tracking over properly managing complaints of abuse in long term care facilities.
Anderson will be drafting legislation for the 2019 legislative session to address the report's findings and bring accountability to the use of taxpayer dollars.
The OLA’s full report can be found by clicking here.