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Meet Rebecca Otto

Read Rebecca's bio.


 

Winner of the National Award for Excellence in Accountability.
Elected President of the National State Auditors Association.
Named 1 of the 15 Most Influential Government Auditors in America.

 

Why Rebecca Otto

Rebecca watches out for the best interests of Minnesota taxpayers with what the worldwide IIA calls "courage, integrity and leadership." Here are a few of the many ways she is working to make Minnesota better.

  • Standing Up for Taxpayers

    Rebecca stands up for the best interests of Minnesota taxpayers.
    She does her job without fear or favor.
    She provides accountability so citizens can trust government.
    She is a fiduciary for more than $73 billion in state investments.
    She serves on the Public Employees Retirement Association board, and fights the assault on public pensions.
    She oversees more than $20 billion in local government spending.
    She exposed the state's dumping of its deficit onto our property taxes.
    She works to improve efficiency, transparency, and accountability.

  • Fighting the Assault on Pensions

    Rebecca is defending Minnesota's taxpayers from the assault on public pensions. Groups aligned with the private 401(k) industry want to line their pockets by doing away with public pensions, and moving public employees into riskier and more expensive 401(k)s. The groups are spreading disinformation, claiming that Minnesota will be "the next Detroit." Nothing could be further from the truth. The true risk is that people with poorly performing 401(k)s will wind up coming back to the taxpayers, because we don't want poverty in our senior population.

  • Improving Performance

    Rebecca promotes efficient, effective service delivery by our local governments, whether it be maintaining streets and highways, providing firefighting services, or public safety.

    The State Auditor publishes a performance measurement report that shows how well residents feel their cities and counties are doing in a variety of key areas. This helps cities and counties do a better job of providing the services people value most.

    The State Auditor issues Best Practices Reviews to help local governments improve their delivery of services. During the economic downturn, Rebecca decided to issue a review on reducing energy costs in local government, which won the National Excellence in Accountability Award.

  • Protecting Affordable Housing

    As State Auditor, Rebecca Otto serves on the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) board. Her leadership over the last eight years has helped guide it to nation-leading success. MHFA finances safe, clean, affordable housing for our low- to moderate-income Minnesotans, and to foster stronger communities. This can include housing for our seniors, our veterans, our families with single parents, and many others. During the housing market crisis, Rebecca pushed for measures that would keep Minnesotans in their homes. Rebecca understands the importance of housing stability for the success of our children in school and of workers on the job.

  • Providing Leadership

    With your support, Rebecca Otto has become one of the most prominent financial leaders in the United States. In 2009, she won the National Excellence in Accountability Award. In 2013 she was named president of the National State Auditors Association. In 2014, the American Center for Government Auditing named her one of the 15 most influential professionals in government auditing at all levels, citing her "courage and integrity necessary to face difficult situations, and willingness to call out opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness in government operations, even when doing so may not be popular or may incur strong opposition from those in power." 

    Rebecca had also provided fearless and principled leadership on complex state and federal policy issues, renaging from the need to provide strong financial assurances for nonferrous mining projects, to protection of the people's constitutional office of the State Auditor, to the need for Congress to exercise leadership on the refugee crisis, to the creation of a new tool to visualize state and local infrastructure in order to make smarter decisions about where to allocate resources. In all cases, Rebecca does what the evidence shows is right for the people of Minnesota. 

    Rebecca is the first female democrat to be elected Minnesota State Auditor, the first democrat ever to be re-elected or to serve a third term, and one of only 7 elected women state auditors nationwide. She has an open-door policy and lets young people shadow her to learn about public service.

     

     

  • CASE STUDY: PROTECTING THE PUBLIC TRUST
    ISSUE:
    The Metro Gang Strike Force debacle
    PROBLEM:
    Did not control access to their property and evidence room.
    SOLUTION:
    Rebecca worked with law enforcement agencies across the state to develop a best practices review on developing policy and procedures manuals for their property and evidence rooms. The result: the report is being used state-wide and nationally by law enforcement agencies to help protect the chain of custody of evidence, helping to protect the integrity of our justice system.
  • It's Easy Being Green

    Remember your Uncle Arnie, who kept coffee cans full of old bent nails and bolts on the garage shelf because he never knew when he might need one? Rebecca and her husband Shawn do that. The old Minnesota ethic of waste not-want not and efficiency runs throughout their lives, from building their home themselves, to the use of wind power and superinsulation to generate and save energy, to Rebecca's focus on efficiency at the office, which allowed her to expand the office's investigations while cutting her own budget. Being green and saving green are conservative values that make for a great State Auditor.

  • CASE STUDY: HELPING FIREFIGHTERS
    ISSUE:
    Volunteer Fire Relief Associations
    PROBLEM:
    Antiquated laws that created compliance and oversight issues
    SOLUTION:
    Rebecca convened and chaired a firefighter working group that, under her leadership, has been able to overhaul laws around volunteer firefighter relief associations that hadn't been looked at in over 30 years, greatly strengthening our mostly volunteer firefighter system throughout Minnesota. The Minnesota State Fire Chiefs recognized her work with their top award.

     

  • On Nonferrous Mining

    As State Auditor, Rebecca is not pro-mining or anti-mining; she is pro-taxpayer. It is part of the State Auditor's job to watch out for the best interests of Minnesota taxpayers and make certain they are not left holding the bag after a nonferrous mine closes. The State Auditor sits on the State Executive Council, where in 2013 she voted against the approval of 31 leases to mine nonferrous minerals because of potential taxpayer exposure to cleanup costs. Rebecca is pushing for an open and transparent process when it comes to the setting of financial assurances for new copper mines, which are like damage deposits, so that taxpayers are protected.

Endorsements

Full List of Rebecca's Endorsements

  • Rebecca Otto's leadership has not only benefited her state but our country as she sets the standard for auditors nationwide in her role as president of the National State Auditors Association.

    Emily's List

  • Rebecca Otto has emerged as one of the most principled public servants in the nation.

    Stonewall DFL Caucus

  • The Teamsters know you will work to protect the rights of Minnesota's working men and women.

    Teamsters Joint Council 32 DRIVE

  • Representing over 14,000 members in Minnesota, we are proud to endorse Rebecca Otto for State Auditor. It was a unanimous vote.

    United Steelworkers Dist. 11

  • It my great pleasure and honor to endorse your candidacy for reelection as State Auditor.

    Senator Scott Dibble

  • We look forward to supporting your work as we collectively work to improve the lives of all Americans.

    SEIU Minnesota State Council

  • You have proven to be a great friend of first reponders and labor and we wish to see you coninue as a leader we can count on.

    Minnesota Professional Fire Fighters

  • We couldn't be more excited to endorse you in your reelection!

    womenwinning

  • Auditor Otto does not shy away from making the right choice for taxpayers—she has earned another four-year term.

    Minnesota Association of Professional Employees

  • Our decision to endorse you is based on your positions on rural issues.

    Minnesota Farmers Union PAC

  • Rebecca Otto has been an excellent, nation-leading State Auditor, and a strong and rock-solid supporter of labor, and she deserves and has our strong support for her re-election.

    Bill Heaney, Legislative & Political Director, IBEW Minnesota State Council

  • You have been a great friend to our issues and concerns.

    DFL Veterans Caucus

  • Thank you for your service and your dedication to issues that are important to nurses, patients and working families.

    Minnesota Nurses Association

  • We collectively endorse your excellent work and candidacy to serve a third term as the State Auditor or Minnesota.

    UTU

Rebecca's Approach

Rebecca believes that in order for people to support their government, they have to trust their government. The State Auditor's Office is key in fostering that trust, by providing transparency and accountability in local governments' financial activities without fear or favor.

Audits

Audit division

The State Auditor's Office oversees more than $20 billion spent annually by over 3,000 local governments. This Division conducts audits, establishes uniform reporting standards and provides technical assistance and education.

Investigations

Legal/SI Division

The State Auditor's Office investigates allegations of theft or misuse of public funds and provides legal compliance information to help local governments avoid pitfalls and get it right when spending taxpayer money.

Reviews

Pension & TIF Divisions

The State Auditor's Office reviews almost 700 public pension plans, and promotes legal compliance and accountability through examination and review of development authorities’ use of tax increment financing (TIF).

Board Service

Constitutional Division

The State Auditor serves on six state boards: Executive Council, State Board of Investment, Public Land Exchange, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, Public Employees Retirement Association, and Rural Finance Authority.

Reports

Gov't Information Division

The State Auditor's Office collects and analyzes local government financial data and issues reports for the Legislature and the public. It also conducts Best Practices Reviews of local government operations.

Education

All Divisions

The State Auditor's Office helps local governments succeed by providing the tools and resources necessary to be good stewards of public funds, through training sessions and seminars across the state and online.

News

Rebecca Otto Runs for Governor
News Release | Mar 24, 2017
State Auditor Rebecca Otto Announces Run for Governor... by Listening


Pollinator-friendly communities
Paul Dols | Press Publications | Sep 22, 2016
Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto, front row right, presented 10 Community Pollinator awards to communities from around the metro area.


Gov. Mark Dayton supports appeal challenging law he signed
Rachel E. Stassen-Berger | Pioneer Press | Sep 08, 2016
Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday said state Auditor Rebecca Otto is right to appeal a court decision on the functions of her office to the Supreme Court.


More News

 

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