SUMMARY OF: A Sunset Review on the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, May 30, 2014

Purpose of the Report

In accordance with Title 24 and Title 44 of the Alaska Statutes (sunset legislation), we have reviewed the activities of the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development’s (DCCED) Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (board). The purpose of this audit was to determine if there is a demonstrated public need for its continued existence and if it has been operating in an effective manner. As required by AS 44.66.050(a), this report shall be considered by the committee of reference during the legislative oversight process in determining whether the board should be reestablished. Currently, under AS 44.66.010(a)(1), the board will terminate on June 30, 2015, and will have one year from that date to conclude its administrative operations.

Report Conclusions

We conclude that the board’s termination date should be extended. The board is serving the public’s interest by effectively licensing and regulating the manufacture, barter, possession, and sale of alcoholic beverages in Alaska. The board has demonstrated a need for its continued existence by protecting the general public through the issuance, renewal, revocation, and suspension of alcoholic beverage licenses. Protection has also been provided through investigations of suspected licensing violations and enforcement of the State’s alcoholic beverage control laws and regulations.

We conditionally recommend that the board’s termination date be extended five years to June 30, 2020. If the marijuana voter initiative passes, we recommend a shorter extension of no more than three years as the initiative significantly expands the board’s duties.

Findings and Recommendations

The prior sunset audit included three recommendations. Two prior recommendations have been resolved, and the other has been partially resolved and is reiterated as parts of Recommendation Nos. 1 and 2. This report makes three new recommendations.

  1. The board’s director should ensure that all board meetings are properly published on the State’s Online Public Notice System.
  2. The board should notify local governing bodies of applications for new and transfer licenses within 10 days of receipt.
  3.  The board should issue catering permits in accordance with statutory requirements.
  4. The board should issue recreational site licenses in accordance with statutory requirements.
  5. The board should implement a process to monitor and track all complaints to ensure they are resolved in a timely manner.