Montana State Legislature

Department of Commerce


Agency Leadership

Scott Osterman, Director
Appointed by the Governor, confirmed by the Senate

Agency Website

Agency Overview

The Department of Commerce partners with communities, businesses, and organizations across the state to strengthen Montana's economy. The department is comprised of four major operational divisions:

  • Office of Tourism and Business Development Division, which includes the following programs:
    • Budget & Operations Bureau
    • Marketing Bureau
    • Industry Services & Outreach Bureau
    • Business Assistance Bureau
    • Research & Information Services Bureau
  • Community Development Division, which includes the following programs and boards:
    • Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG)
    • Community Technical Assistance Program (CTAP)
    • Montana Main Street Program
    • Montana Historic Preservation Grant Program (MHPG)
    • Montana Coal Endowment Program (TSEP)
    • Coal Board
    • Hard Rock Mining Impact Board
  • Housing Division, which includes the following units:
    • Montana Board of Housing
    • Housing Assistance Bureau
  • Director's Office, which includes:
    • Offices of Accounting and Budget; Legal Affairs; Human Resources; Information Technology, and Communications
    • Montana Council on Developmental Disabilities

Entities Administratively Attached to the Department of Commerce

  • Board of Investments (2-15-1808, MCA)
  • Board of Horse Racing (2-15-1809, MCA)
  • Montana Facility Finance Authority (2-15-1815, MCA)
  • Montana Heritage Preservation & Development Commission (22-3-1002, MCA)

Legislative Audits

  • 2021 Montana Facility Finance Authority Financial Compliance Audit (20-12), 1 recommendation
  • 2019 Financial Compliance Audit (19-16), no recommendations
  • 2019 Tourism Marketing and Promotion Performance Audit (18P-03), 4 recommendations; Follow-up (21SP-09), 3 recommendations implemented, 3 in-process

Statutorily Required Reports to Economic Affairs

  • 9/1/2022: Distressed Wood Products Industry Loan Account Annual Report (90-1-503, MCA)
  • 9/1/2022: Montana Heritage Commission Review of Indirect Administrative Rate (22-3-1002, MCA)
  • As Needed: Coal ash markets investigation program (90-2-202, MCA; HB648 2021)

Reports to the Legislature Related to Economic Affairs

September 2022:

The committee authorized the following agency proposed legislation:

Proposal Presentation


  • Revise bond allocation plan
  • Eliminate L&C license plate pass through
  • Update MFFA public hearing requirements
  • Authorize STIP investment for NACS (Gap Financing Program)
  • Create statutory appropriation for Indian Tourism
  • Remove bond issuance cap and expand eligible entities for MFFA services
  • Modernize big sky economic development program
  • Expand Montana exports
  • Revise distressed wood products program
  • Review tourism advisory council structure

February 2022:

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