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


Purpose of the Report

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, 2023, and will have one year from that date to conclude its administrative operations.

Report Conclusions

Overall, the audit concludes that the board operated in the public’s interest by conducting its meetings in an effective manner, by supporting statutory changes when deemed necessary, and by actively amending regulations. The audit also concludes that the board and Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing (DCBPL) staff did not consistently certify midwives in accordance with statutes and regulations. Further, an investigation that concerned a threat to public safety was not addressed by DCBPL investigators in an efficient manner.

In accordance with AS 08.03.010(c)(8), the board is scheduled to terminate on June 30, 2023. We recommend the legislature extend the board’s termination date four years, to June 30, 2027, which is half of the eight-year maximum allowed in statute. The reduced extension reflects the need for more timely oversight in recognition of the audit findings and in recognition that the board’s draft regulations may significantly change its licensing function.

Findings and Recommendations

  1. DCCED’s commissioner should work with policymakers to improve the recruitment and retention of investigators.
  2. DCCED’s commissioner should work with policymakers to improve the recruitment and retention of licensing staff, and board members should adequately review applications prior to approval.
  3. DCBPL’s director should work with the board to ensure the online licensing application is sufficient to monitor compliance with continuing education hours and that accurate regulatory references are included in the application.
  4. The Office of the Governor, Boards and Commissions director should work with the board to identify potential applications to fill board vacancies in a timely manner.