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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Office of the State Auditor

Active dates:1858-

The mission of the Office of the State Auditor (Office) is to oversee local government finances for Minnesota taxpayers by helping to ensure financial integrity and accountability in local governmental financial activities.


The State Auditor is an elected officer in the executive branch of the State of Minnesota and serves a four-year term. The executive officer position has existed since statehood in 1858. Minnesota's first state auditor, W. F. Dunbar, assumed the office on May 24, 1858.

After statehood was granted, the constitutional office of State Auditor functioned as a controller for the executive branch of state government, approving expenditures in advance. A major reshuffling of responsibilities came in 1973 when the State Legislature gave the State Auditor the mission of auditing all local units of government. The Office of the Legislative Auditor was then charged with auditing state agencies and making recommendations for study topics to the Legislative Audit Commission. Previously, the Public Examiner, an official who was appointed by the Governor, carried out all audits of state agencies and local governments. That post was eliminated in the 1973 reorganization.

Other official duties of the State Auditor include serving on the State Executive Council, State Board of Investment, Land Exchange Board, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, Public Employees Retirement Association, and Rural Finance Authority Board.

Agency heads:

See list of Minnesota State Auditors since 1858.

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 1968-2020.
Record last updated: 01/20/2021

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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