Montana Viewpoint


For further information, contact Jim Elliott at 406-827-3671

June 23, 2003:Press Release

Senator Jim Elliott of Trout Creek was recently elected Vice-chairman of the Montana Legislature’s Audit Committee. The Audit Committee is the only constitutionally mandated committee of the Legislature. Its function is to review the finances and performance of all agencies of Montana government.

At least every two years every government agency is given a financial audit by the office of the Legislative Auditor, which operates under the jurisdiction of the Audit Committee. Agencies that receive federal money are audited annually. The Committee itself may request special financial or performance audits of agencies or issues that it feels need looking into. In addition, all governmental fraud and waste issues are referred to the Legislative Auditor. It is regarded as one of the more important and powerful committees in Montana government.

“The Legislative Audit Committee is the only place a legislator will get a full view of how state government functions, from the tiniest bureau to giant departments, and how they all work together. It’s fascinating,” said Elliott. “I’m honored to have been chosen Vice-chairman.”

The Committee is made up of six House and six Senate members, half of which are Republican and half Democrat. “It’s the most non-partisan committee in the legislature,” according to Elliott. “We check our party affiliation at the door.”

Typically, the Vice-chairmanship leads to selection as Chairman in the next Legislature. The Chairmanship alternates between Republican and Democratic legislators. Representative Jeff Pattison-R, Glasgow, is the current Chairman. Elliott is a Democrat from Trout Creek.


Jim Elliott
Phone: 406-444-1556
Mail: State Senate Helena, MT 59620