SUMMARY OF:A Sunset Review of the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, Board of Certified Direct-Entry Midwives

Why DLA Performed This Audit

The audit was performed to determine if there is a continued need for the board and if its termination date should be extended. The board is set to sunset on June 30, 2021, and will have one year from that date to conclude its operations.

Report Conclusions

Overall, the audit concluded that the board served the public’s interest by conducting meetings in accordance with state laws and effectively certifying midwives. The board adopted regulatory changes to improve the profession, but failed to pursue statutory changes due to concerns over related costs. Additionally, the audit found the peer review process was not effectively monitored by the board and improvements were needed over the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing’s (DCBPL) investigative process.

In accordance with AS 08.03.010(c)(8), the board is scheduled to terminate on June 30, 2021. We recommend the legislature extend the board’s termination date two years, to June 30, 2023, which is significantly less than the eight-year maximum allowed in statute. The reduced extension is due to an issue identified during the audit that may impact the board’s ability to protect the public and the board’s reluctance to recommend statutory changes in the public’s best interest. The details of the issue are not included in this report to preserve the confidentiality of an ongoing investigation. The reduced extension reflects the need for continued oversight.

Findings and Recommendations

  1. The board should recommend statutory changes that benefit the public.
  2. DCBPL’s chief investigator should ensure investigations are completed timely.
  3. The board should improve oversight of the peer review process.