SUMMARY OF: A Sunset Review of the Department of Public Safety, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, November 23, 2005.

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 Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (Council). The purpose of this audit was to determine if there is a demonstrated public need for the continued existence of the Council.

Report Conclusions

Aside from the operational concerns addressed in this report, the Council is serving a public need and is operating in the public’s interest. Currently, AS 44.66.010(a)(5) requires the Council to be terminated on June 30, 2006. We recommend the legislature extend the Council’s termination date to June 30, 2014.

Findings and Recommendations

The Council’s prior sunset audit reported several administrative weaknesses. Two of those recommendations have been resolved. Those issues that have not been resolved are reiterated in this report.

Recommendation No. 1.

The Council should address its statutory responsibilities to consult with the Department of Education and Early Development and the Department of Health and Social Services.

Alaska Statute 18.66.050(3) and AS 18.66.050(12) discuss the Council working with state departments, to develop standards and procedures and education programs. However, due to limited staffing and the Council’s focus on grant maintenance and monitoring, the Council has been unable to fully address these statutory mandates. Given the significance of these mandates, we recommend that the Council take immediate action and implement procedures to address both statutes.

Recommendation No. 2.

The legislature should amend the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault’s statutes related to appointment of council members.

Since the last audit, AS 18.66.020 has not been revised and the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (Network) continues to get funding from the Council. However, of the last five public members appointed to the Council, only two were recommended by the Network.

To avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest between public member appointments and receiving funding, we continue to recommend that the legislature amend AS 18.66.020 to: (1) eliminate the mandate for the Network to recommend individuals to the governor for appointment to the council, and (2) eliminate the requirement for the governor to consult with the Network on the appointment or reappointment of the council’s public members.