SUMMARY OF: A Sunset Review on the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, Board of Certified Direct-Entry Midwives, June 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) Board of Certified Direct-Entry Midwives (board). The purpose of this audit was to determine if there is a demonstrated public need for the board’s 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 08.03.010(c)(8), the board will terminate on June 30, 2015, and will have one year from that date to conclude its administrative operations.

Report Conclusions

Overall, the audit concluded that the board is serving the public’s interest by effectively licensing certified direct-entry midwives (CDM) and apprentices. Furthermore, the board worked to improve the profession by modifying and adopting midwifery regulations to conform with current standards of care. The audit also concluded that Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing (DCBPL) staff failed to operate in the public’s interest by not pursuing timely disciplinary sanctions related to four CDM investigations. We recommend the board’s termination date be extended only two years to June 30, 2017. The reduced extension recommendation is due to significant deficiencies by DCBPL staff in pursing disciplinary sanctions.

Findings and Recommendations

  1. DCCED’s commissioner should take immediate action to pursue disciplinary sanctions for CDM cases when warranted.
  1. DCBPL, in consultation with the board, should increase licensing fees to eliminate the board’s operating deficit.
  1. The board should communicate certificate requirements to continuing education providers to facilitate compliance with centralized licensing regulations.
  1. The board should approve apprentice permit applications in accordance with statutes.