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ARTICLE I:  Purpose and Membership

The name of this organization shall be the National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES), a professional staff organization of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

The purposes of NLPES are to:

  • Advance the fields of legislative program evaluation and performance auditing;
  • Enhance professionalism and training in legislative program evaluation and performance auditing;
  • Promote the exchange of ideas and information about legislative program evaluation and performance auditing;
  • Recognize significant contributions to the fields of legislative program evaluation and performance auditing; and,
  • Identify new issues that affect the practice of legislative program evaluation and performance auditing.

Any individual who meets the following criteria is a member of NLPES:

  • Is employed by a member legislature of NCSL to conduct program evaluations or performance audits;
  • Is employed by an agency of a member legislature of NCSL and who, as determined by the individual’s employing agency, contributes to the program evaluation or performance audit work of that agency; or
  • Is employed by an agency whose director is appointed or selected by a member legislature of NCSL and who, as determined by the individual’s employing agency, contributes to the program evaluation or performance audit work of that agency.

ARTICLE II:  Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is responsible for the overall governance of NLPES, including having authority and control over the general management and business affairs of NLPES, in accordance with its bylaws.

The Executive Committee shall be composed of 12 voting members who shall be elected in accordance with Article III and serve for a period of three years and shall be eligible for re-election. No more than one person from the same state shall serve on the Executive Committee at the same time.

If an elected member serves as chair of the Executive Committee in the final year of his or her term and is not re-elected or does not seek re-election to the Executive Committee, the member shall be eligible to remain on the Executive Committee as the immediate past chair for one additional year as a thirteenth voting member.

The Executive Committee shall provide for its own organization and rules of operation and shall elect its own officers.

ARTICLE III:  Elections

The elections subcommittee, established pursuant to Article VII, shall oversee the annual process by which NLPES members are nominated and elected to serve on the Executive Committee.

The elections subcommittee shall determine the form and manner in which candidate nominations should be submitted, including a deadline for the receipt of such nominations. The elections subcommittee shall provide information about the nomination and election process to the NLPES membership. Nominations that are not received by the deadline or in the form prescribed by the election subcommittee shall not be accepted. The list of qualifying nominees shall constitute the ballot.

When the number of nominees is greater than the number of Executive Committee members to be elected, the elections subcommittee shall submit the ballot to the NLPES membership for a vote. Those individuals who are members of NLPES as provided for in Article I as of the date of the election are eligible to vote in the election. Candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected to the Executive Committee in order of their respective vote shares until all seats that are up for election have been filled. The elections subcommittee shall certify the election results to the Executive Committee and give notice of the election results to the NLPES membership.

When the number of nominees is equal to or less than the number of Executive Committee members to be elected, a vote of the NLPES membership is not required. The Executive Committee shall, by a majority vote, certify the nominees as duly elected members of the Executive Committee. When the number of nominees is less than the number of Executive Committee members to be elected, a vacancy on the Executive Committee shall exist and be filled in accordance with Article VI.

The annual nomination and election process shall be completed by June 30 of each year. Newly elected members shall begin their terms at the annual fall meeting following the election.

ARTICLE IV:  Meetings 

The Executive Committee shall meet at least three times each year. The first required meeting of each meeting year shall be held in conjunction with the NLPES Fall Professional Development Seminar and is referenced in the bylaws as the “annual fall meeting.” The remaining two required meetings shall be held at such time and place as designated by the chair. If the NLPES Fall Professional Development Seminar is not held in a given year, the annual fall meeting shall be held at such time and place as designated by the incoming chair. The Executive Committee may hold additional meetings during the year at such time and place as designated by the chair.

Adequate advance notice of Executive Committee meetings shall be provided to the membership, but such notice shall not occur less than 24 hours prior to the meeting.

A quorum for the transaction of official business shall consist of a majority of the members of the Executive Committee and shall include at least one officer. Vacant seats on the Executive Committee shall not count for the purpose of determining a quorum.

When a quorum is present, a majority vote of the Executive Committee members present is sufficient for the adoption of a motion. Motions fail on a tie vote.

Participation in Executive Committee meetings using technologies such as conference call or internet-based software is permitted and shall count for the purpose of determining a quorum.

The chair shall be the presiding officer at all Executive Committee meetings. If the chair is unable to preside at any meeting, the vice-chair shall be the presiding officer. If the vice-chair is unable to preside in the chair’s absence, the secretary shall be the presiding officer.

The secretary or, in the absence of the secretary, another individual designated by the chair, shall record minutes of Executive Committee meetings.

ARTICLE V:  Officers

The Executive Committee shall have the following officers: chair, vice-chair, secretary, and immediate past chair. Each officer shall serve a one-year term commencing at the annual fall meeting.

The following transitions in officer positions shall occur at the annual fall meeting:

  • The chair from the previous year shall automatically succeed to the position of immediate past chair.
  • The vice-chair from the previous year shall automatically succeed to the position of chair.
  • A new vice-chair shall be elected.
  • A new secretary shall be elected.

ARTICLE VI:  Vacancies

Executive Committee Vacancies

In the event that a vacancy in a seat on the Executive Committee occurs, the unsuccessful candidate who had the next-highest vote share in the most recent NLPES election shall be offered the seat for the remainder of that seat’s term. If there is no such candidate, then the Executive Committee shall, by a majority vote, appoint a member of NLPES to serve in that seat for the remainder of that seat’s term.

Officer Vacancies

In the event that a vacancy in the position of immediate past chair occurs, the current chair of the Executive Committee may appoint a former chair of the Executive Committee to fill the immediate past chair position for the balance of the position’s one-year term. The appointment of a former chair to fill a vacancy in the immediate past chair position shall not count against the limitation in Article II that no more than one person from the same state may serve on the Executive Committee at the same time. If no person is appointed, the immediate past chair position shall remain vacant.

In the event that a vacancy in the position of chair occurs, (1) the vice-chair shall automatically succeed to and serve as chair for the balance of the outgoing chair’s one-year term and remain as chair for another one-year term commencing at the next annual fall meeting, and (2) at the next annual fall meeting, there shall be a vacancy in the immediate past chair position.

In the event that a vacancy in the position of vice-chair or secretary occurs, the Executive Committee shall elect a person to fill the vacancy for the balance of the position’s one-year term.

If a vacancy occurs in the position of vice-chair, the person elected to serve as vice-chair for the balance of the outgoing vice-chair’s term may choose whether to automatically succeed to the position of chair in the ensuing year. If the vice-chair elects not to succeed to the position of chair, the Executive Committee shall elect a person to serve as chair in the ensuing year.

ARTICLE VII:  Subcommittees

The chair may create subcommittees and appoint subcommittee members, as necessary, to carry out the Executive Committee’s work. At a minimum, the chair shall appoint one member to an elections subcommittee for the purpose of overseeing the annual nomination and election process provided for in Article III. No member of the Executive Committee shall serve on the elections subcommittee if he or she is a candidate for re-election to the Executive Committee in that year.

ARTICLE VIII:  Amendment of Bylaws

Amendments to the bylaws may be proposed by any member of NLPES at any time. Such proposed amendments shall be submitted to the chair of the Executive Committee who shall forward the proposed amendments to the Executive Committee for consideration.

Prior to taking any action on proposed amendments to the bylaws, the Executive Committee shall give notice of such proposed amendments to the NLPES membership and allow for a 30-day review and comment period. At the conclusion of the 30-day review and comment period, a summary of the comments received shall be posted to the NLPES website.

Once the 30-day review and comment period has concluded, the proposed amendments may be adopted or rejected by a majority vote of the Executive Committee.

Last amended July 25, 2019

NLPES' officers are the chair, vice chair and secretary. The immediate past chair remains an ex-officio member of the NLPES executive committee for one year. He or she provides general counsel to the Executive Committee, and helps to plan the Legislative Summit program but does not vote in committee decisions.

The NLPES Executive Committee directs NLPES efforts relating to the NCSL Legislative Summit, the NLPES Professional Development Seminar, and other NLPES programs and activities. NLPES' Executive Committee is comprised of the past executive committee chair plus three officers and eight members all of whom are elected, on an alternating basis, to serve three-year terms. About four Executive Committee seats are up for election each year. No more than one person from a legislative staff agency can serve on the NLPES Executive Committee at a given time.

Selected NLPES Executive Committee Policies

2022-2023 NLPES Executive Committee

  • Chair: Eric Thomas, Washington
  • Vice Chair: Darin Underwood, Utah
  • Secretary: Jennifer Sebren, Mississippi
  • Immediate Past Chair: Kristen Rottinghaus, Kansas

Jeanine Brown
Performance Audit Division
Department of Audits and Accounts
270 Washington St. SW, Room 1-156
Atlanta, GA 30334
404-656-2180

Drew Dickinson
Jt. Legislative Audit and Review Cmsn
919 East Main Street, Suite 2101
Richmond, VA 23219
804-786-1258

Micaela Fischer 
N.M. Legislative Finance Committee 
325 Don Gaspar, Suite 101 
Santa Fe, NM 87501 
505-986-4550 

Jason Juffras
Office of the D.C. Auditor
717 – 14th Street NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005
202-727-3600

Darren McDivitt 
Texas Sunset Advisory Commission 
P.O. Box 13066 
Austin, TX 78711 
512-463-1300 

Marcus Morgan 
Alabama Commission on the Evaluation of Services 
64 N. Union Street, Suite 749 
Montgomery, AL 36130 
334-604-1499 

Kristen Rottinghaus
Legislative Division of Post Audit
800 SW Jackson Street, Suite 1200
Topeka, Kansas 66612-2212
785-431-0124

Jennifer Sebren
Jt. Legislative PEER Committee
P.O. Box 1204
Jackson, MS 39215-1204
601-359-1451

Will Soller
Legislative Audit Division
P.O. Box 201705
Helena, MT 59620-1705
406-444-3122

Eric Thomas
Jt. Legislative Audit and Review Cmte
P.O. Box 40910
Olympia, WA 98504-0910
360-786-5182

Darin Underwood
Office of Legislative Auditor General
W315 State Capitol
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-5315
801-326-1741

Interim NLPES Staff Liaison

Megan McClure
NCSL
7700 East First Place
Denver, CO 80230
303-856-1391

The chair of the Executive Committee may create subcommittees and is responsible for appointing the members to serve on NLPES subcommittees. The chair may also initiate special survey or research projects. Currently, NLPES has four standing subcommittees.

2021-2022 Standing Subcommittees

Awards Subcommittee

This subcommittee administers the NLPES Awards Program, recommends revisions to award criteria/process, organizes the judges for various award categories and facilitates the awards presentation.

  • Mary Jo Koschay, Michigan (chair)
  • Drew Dickinson, Virginia

Development and Advancement of the Profession Subcommittee

This subcommittee oversees virtual trainings (e.g., webinars, Zoom calls), develops professional development resources for the NLPES website, identifies new issues that affect the practice and other ways to advance the field, and oversees communication with external audit/evaluation organizations.

  • Jennifer Sebren, Mississippi (chair)
  • Jeanine Brown, Georgia
  • Paul Navarro, California
  • Will Soller, Montana

Internal Communications Subcommittee

This subcommittee oversees communications with the NLPES membership, oversees publication of the NLPES newsletter, oversees the audit report library, monitors the content of the NLPES website, and conducts the periodic “Who We Are” survey.

  • Emily Johnson, Texas (chair)
  • Jason Juffras, Washington, D.C.
  • Eric Thomas, Washington
  • Darin Underwood, Utah

Elections Subcommittee

This subcommittee oversees the annual NLPES Executive Committee elections; the Immediate Past NLPES Chair serves as the subcommittee chair.

  • Kiernan McGorty, North Carolina (chair)

The term peer review is commonly used to describe the formal process for monitoring compliance with quality control policies and procedures of CPA firms and governmental audit organizations. The process is also known as a quality control review or quality assessment review.

The accounting profession’s first uniform peer review program was created in 1977 by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The program required all member firms conducting attestation functions to adhere to a single set of generally accepted auditing standards. The most important requirement—peer review every three years—would monitor adherence to those standards. The peer review process was initially designed as an educational and remedial program to prevent recurrences of problems and correct deficiencies in the practices of member firms.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), established in 1921 as the General Accounting Office, promulgated the Government Auditing Standards (“Yellow Book”) that have been adopted in the peer review process. The GAO disseminated the first Yellow Book in 1972. In 1991, the National Association of Local Government Auditors (NALGA) established a peer review program to assist member organizations in complying with the Yellow Book standards. NLAGA expanded the peer review program in 2005 to include “Red Book” reviews, or peer reviews for audit organizations utilizing the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (“Red Book”), adopted by the Institute of Internal Auditing (IIA). For Red Book reviews, audit organizations are required to have an external assessment completed every five years.

A peer review team is engaged by the CPA firm or governmental audit organization to perform the review. Each member of the peer review team is required to be independent of the CPA firm or governmental audit organization and must be qualified to perform the review. The peer review team evaluates the firm’s or organization’s internal quality control policies and procedures and selects audits and attestation engagements to evaluate whether the firm or organization followed its internal quality control policies and procedures when performing those engagements. The results of the peer review team’s evaluation are submitted in a peer review report. The reviewed CPA firm or governmental audit organization responds in writing to the peer review team’s comments on matters in the peer review report and/or in the letter of comments. The response describes the actions taken or planned with respect to each matter in the report and/or the letter.

Peer Reviews of NLPES Member Offices

Forty-five states have NLPES member offices that conduct performance evaluations and audits and most of these offices receive a peer review on a regular basis. Over half of the offices (26) have adopted the Government Auditing Standards (Yellow Book) that require the offices to receive a peer review at least once every three years but do not require a peer review to be conducted by any specific organization. Many of these offices conduct both financial audits and program evaluations and, in the past, have chosen to receive peer reviews conducted by the National State Auditors’ Association (NSAA), which was organized as an associate of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers (NASACT). NSAA provides peer reviews that cover both financial audits and performance evaluations.

Offices must be members of NASACT to request a peer review from this organization. Therefore, NSAA peer reviews are not accessible to many NLPES member offices such as the 19 offices that have not adopted the Government Auditing Standards and that are not NASACT members. In addition to the 19 unaffiliated member offices, there are NLPES member offices with NASACT affiliation that have expressed a desire to receive peer reviews from another source. A primary reservation with reviews conducted by NSAA is that the organization’s emphasis is on financial auditing. NSAA peer reviewers may not sufficiently understand how state legislative performance evaluation and audit offices operate.

NCSL-Coordinated Peer Reviews of NLPES Member Offices

NCSL, with assistance from more than 30 performance evaluators and auditors from NLPES member offices, has conducted 13 peer reviews:

  • Florida Office of Program Policy and Government Accountability (2002 and 2006)
  • Hawaii Office of the Auditor (2007, 2010 and 2013)
  • Nebraska Legislative Performance Audit Section (2008 and 2012)
  • South Carolina Legislative Audit Council (2013)
  • Utah Office of the Legislative Auditor General (2011)
  • Washington Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (2007, 2011 and 2014)
  • Wyoming Program Evaluation Section of the Legislative Service Office (2010)

Executive directors of the reviewed offices, as well as the NLPES peer reviewers, report that they received benefits from participating in NCSL coordinated peer reviews. Prior to the arrival of the NLPES peer reviewers, the offices being reviewed were able to take the opportunity to re-examine how their offices operated. The offices being reviewed were given the opportunity to learn from the peer reviewers on how other NLPES offices function and how to incorporate these practices into their own operations. The reviews also provided feedback and recommendations on how the reviewed offices could improve their structure and processes from an objective group of “outsiders.”

In addition to meeting one office’s statutory requirements for a peer review, the review also provided suggestions on the supervision of projects, project management and the quality control process. Overall, the external review affirmed the offices’ credibility and validated their ability to meet the needs of their legislatures and legislative committees. The NLPES peer reviewers also benefited from the reviews. Similarly to the reviewed organizations, the peer reviewers had the opportunity to see how other states’ legislative program evaluation and audit agencies were organized and brought back ideas from these states to their own offices. These ideas were used to improve processes of the reviewers’ home offices. The interaction between the peer review team members and the reviewed offices provided a learning experience and training to the external peer review teams.

Future Peer Reviews of NLPES Member Offices

For the past several years, there has been interest among NLPES member offices for the NLPES Executive Committee to establish a peer review process that is similar in design and implementation to the NCSL-coordinated peer reviews. Because NLPES members understand the unique nature of the work completed by state legislative performance evaluation and audit offices, these offices could receive peer reviews that more specifically address improvements for performing qualitative-oriented work. The Professional Development and Training Subcommittee of the NLPES Executive Committee is currently in the process of researching and designing a peer review process for member offices. The Executive Committee has an NLPES-authorized peer review process finalized and available for use by member offices.

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

  • Office of Fiscal and Management Analysis—Jessica Harmon, director

Iowa

 

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

  • Joint Committee on Legislative Research, Oversight Division—Julie Morff, director

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

North Carolina

  • Kiernan McGorty
  • Joint Committee

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virgin Island

  • Post Audit Division

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Last updated Nov. 8, 2022

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