House Bill No. 229

Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act creating a local government operations review program to be conducted on a contract basis by the legislative audit division and participating local governments; providing a procedure for requesting an operations review; providing for the monitoring of recommended state agency participation by the legislative audit committee; and providing an effective date."

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

NEW SECTION. Section 1.  Short title. [Sections 1 through 5] may be cited as the "Montana Local Government Operations Review Program".

NEW SECTION. Section 2.  Definitions. As used in [sections 1 through 5] the following definitions apply:

(1) "Committee" means the legislative audit committee.

(2) "Division" means the legislative audit division.

(3) "Local government" means the governing body of a county, incorporated city or town, or consolidated city-county.

NEW SECTION. Section 3.  Operations review of local governments by the legislative audit division. (1) The division shall perform or have performed local government operations reviews to the extent that funds are received pursuant to a contract with the local government requesting the operations review.

(2) Before being conducted, a local government operations review by the division must be approved by the committee.

(3) A local government operations review must include when appropriate but is not limited to:

(a) identification of state mandates or regulations that do not add value to local services provided by the local government;

(b) recommendations for improving the delivery of services;

(c) recommendations for controlling the cost of services;

(d) recommendations for improving local government functions; and

(e) identification of good practices being utilized by the local government.

NEW SECTION. Section 4.  Requests for local government operations review. A local government may request an operations review of a specific function or functions by submitting:

(1) a written request to the committee;

(2) a resolution requesting the operations review adopted by the governing body of the local government; and

(3) information that the committee requires.

NEW SECTION. Section 5.  Legislative audit division reports -- participation of state agencies. (1) Upon completion of a local government operations review, the division shall transmit to the local government a draft copy of any report compiled pursuant to the review. The report must be transmitted to the local government before any formal public presentation.

(2) If the division recommends that a state agency assist the local government in implementing any recommendation of the division, the division shall send a copy of its preliminary report to that state agency. The division's final report must contain the state agency's response, if any, to the division's recommendation that the state agency assist the local government.

(3) The committee shall monitor any local government operations review recommending participation by a state agency to determine if the state agency has assisted the local government to the best of its ability.

(4) The division shall encourage and assist in the exchange of information among local governments to ensure that they share in the benefits of each review.

NEW SECTION. Section 6.  Codification instruction. [Sections 1 through 5] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 5, chapter 13, and the provisions of Title 5, chapter 13, apply to [sections 1 through 5].

NEW SECTION. Section 7.  Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 1997.