SUMMARY OF:A Sunset Review of the Department of Health and Social Services, Statewide Suicide Prevention Council

Why DLA Performed This Audit

The audit’s purpose was to determine if there is a need for the council’s continued existence and whether its termination date should be extended. The council is set to sunset June 30, 2019, and will have one year from that date to conclude its administrative operations.

Report Conclusions

The audit found the council operated in the public’s interest by actively broadening the public’s awareness of suicide prevention, and coordinating the efforts of other suicide prevention entities including State agencies, regional groups, coalitions, and local communities. Additionally, the council fulfilled its statutory duty by issuing the 2018-2022 Suicide Prevention Plan and working closely with stakeholders to add and refine the plan’s strategies, resources, and indicators. The audit also concluded that administrative improvements were needed to ensure council meetings are adequately public noticed and the executive director is consistently evaluated on an annual basis.

In accordance with AS 44.66.010(a)(7), the council is scheduled to terminate on June 30, 2019. We recommend that the legislature extend the council’s termination date to June 30, 2027.

Findings and Recommendations

  1. The council’s executive director should develop and implement procedures to ensure public notices for meetings are published timely and accurately.
  2. The council chair should develop and implement written procedures to ensure performance evaluations are completed annually for the council’s executive director.