The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) met on May 14 to approve its plan of studies and schedule of reports for 2018. As approved by its Study Topic Selection Subcommittee last fall, JLARC plans to complete and report on four major studies this year:
- Review of the Department of Elections. JLARC will review the Department of Elections to determine whether it provides adequate supervision of election administration at the local level, to include appropriate training for general registrars and local electoral board members, as well as the degree to which the Department ensures accurate voter registration lists. Working with an information technology consultant, JLARC staff will assess the security of the state’s electronic election management system (VERIS). A briefing on the study’s findings is scheduled for September 2018.
- Review of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR). JLARC will review DPOR’s credentialing requirements and standards of conduct, as well as DPOR’s fee structure, organization and staffing. A briefing is scheduled for October 2018.
- Study of spending on state inmate health care. JLARC will examine state spending on inmate health care relative to other states and determine whether savings could be achieved in areas such as prescription drugs. As part of this study, JLARC staff will review the effectiveness of the contracts for inmate health care administered by the Department of Corrections. JLARC staff indicated at the meeting on May 14 that this study will also encompass spending on health care for state-responsible inmates who are housed in local and regional jails. A report on this study is scheduled for November 2018.
- Review of foster care and adoption services. JLARC will review changes in foster care caseloads and assess the capacity of local departments of social services to provide appropriate services, as well as the ability of state and local agencies to recruit foster parents and secure permanent placement for children. The study mandate also directs staff to review spending on foster care and adoption services and to determine how Virginia could make the best use of these funds. A briefing is scheduled for December 2018.
JLARC staff will also provide updates on areas of ongoing oversight, including the Virginia Retirement System, state spending on the Standards of Quality, and economic development incentives. The full JLARC workplan, which includes the schedule of briefings for 2018, is available on the JLARC website.
JLARC members also received an update from the Auditor of Public Accounts, Martha Mavredes, on recent work by her office and plans for the year ahead. As part of this report, Ms. Mavredes discussed her office’s application of the new Financial Assessment Model score system to identify localities in fiscal distress; the application of this model to localities’ FY 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports identified six localities for follow-up, of which one (the City of Bristol) has been referred to the Administration and House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committee Chairs for potential state assistance. Ms. Mavredes noted that she and her staff are considering changes to the model based on her discussions with local governments, perhaps to include broader economic factors such as unemployment rates.
VACo Contact: Katie Boyle