|SUMMARY OF:||A Sunset Review Follow Up of the Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar Association, November 28, 2005, (Audit Control No. 41-20040-06), September 15, 2006.|
Purpose of the Report
In accordance with the intent of Title 24 and Title 44 of the Alaska Statutes (sunset legislation), and a special request from the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, we have performed a follow up of our prior audit, Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar Association, November 28, 2005, (Audit Control No. 41-20040-06).
There are three specific objectives of our report. They are:
- To provide a current status on the recommendations made in the prior report.
- To provide updated financial and occupational statistics information.
- To provide information on organizational, budgeting/appropriation, and disciplinary structure alternatives existing in other states.
In addition, we will report anything that comes to our attention during this review that would change our prior report conclusions and analysis of public need.
The objective of our prior audit, Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar Association, November 28, 2005, (Audit Control No. 41-20040-06) was to determine if the Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar Association (Board) should continue to exist, primarily based on the results discussed in the Analysis of Public Need section of the report.
The conclusion of the prior report was that the termination date of the Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar Association should be extended. Nothing came to our attention during our current assessment that would give rise to a change in our conclusion or recommendation to extend the termination date until June 30, 2014.
In response to the specific objectives of this audit, we have reiterated and provided a current status of the three recommendations made in our prior audit, Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar Association, November 28, 2005, (Audit Control No. 41-20040-06). These recommendations, if implemented, will improve the effectiveness of the Board’s goals and operations.
We have also incorporated the financial information and occupational statistics, from Appendices A, B, C, and D in our prior audit, with updates for more current periods and more recent activities. See Appendices A, B, C, and D of this report.
And finally we have included, for discussion, information on possible organizational alternatives from a limited review of other states in the Additional Auditor Comments section of this report.
Findings and Recommendations
The Council’s prior sunset audit reported several administrative weaknesses. Two of those recommendations have been resolved. Those issues that have not been resolved are reiterated in this report.
- The Board should recommend to the Alaska Supreme Court that mandatory minimum continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys be adopted.The Board voted at their September 7, 2006 meeting to send the mandatory CLE rule, as published in April 2006, to the Alaska Supreme Court. In effect, they have now implemented our prior recommendation.
- The Board should consider developing a database of disciplined lawyers in the association’s website.Although some steps have been taken in response to this recommendation, attorney discipline information is not yet available via link from the Alaska Bar Association website. We continue to believe the Board should develop a database of disciplined lawyers to which access is provided the public via the association’s website. We encourage continued efforts in this area.
- The Board should adopt a due date for the annual report to ensure it is made available to the Supreme Court, the legislature and the public on a timely basis.The Board voted at their September 7, 2006 meeting to amend their Standing Policies to set April 15 as the due date for the completion of the preceding year’s annual report. In effect, they have now implemented our prior recommendation.