Frequently Asked Questions
How was my department selected for audit/review?
The City Auditor's management team decides which departments, programs or agencies should be part of the annual audit plan. Several factors are considered and analyzed, including: assessed risk, known deficiencies, political sensitivities, major changes, magnitude of funding, and requests from City Administration, City Council or management.
What should I do if I suspect fraud, waste or abuse of City resources?
Who receives the audit report?
The audit report is distributed to the department director, chief administrator's office, City Council, the Mayor's Chief of Staff, the City Clerk and the Audit Committee. In accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) Chapter 8 - Reporting Standards for Performance Audits, our reports are also made available to the public via our website.
Who audits the auditor?
A Peer Review Team "audits the auditor" every three years. As promulgated by Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS), the City Auditors Office is subject to review by a Peer Review Team that is independent of the audit organization. Peer Review Team members consist of experienced auditors specifically trained in the peer review process. The Peer Review is coordinated by the Association of Local Government Auditors (ALGA). See our link for the most recent Peer Review results.
To whom does the City Auditor Report?
The City Auditor reports to the City Council with an advisory reporting relationship to the council-appointed Audit Committee.
What role does the City Audit Department have within the organization?
The City Auditor's Office provides auditing and investigative services to promote accountability over resources, efficiencies in operations, effectiveness of programs, and compliance with laws, regulations, and policies. The objective of these services is to make city government transparent to the citizens through audit and investigative reports.
How does the audit process help my department?
Through the audit process our goal is to help management: enhance controls, maximize efficiency and effectiveness within the department, provide cost savings and revenue enhancement, increase awareness of internal controls, deter fraud and strengthen the effectiveness of management's decision making process.
Audit Myths and Realities
Myth: An audit is just there to tell everyone what I'm doing wrong.
Reality: Audit plays a critical role in the success of every organization. We provide independent, objective assessments of risks, controls and compliance, aimed at deterring fraud and waste. This allows management to identify opportunities and better the effectiveness and efficiency of operations.
Myth: My department will only get audited if we did something wrong or handle money.
Reality: Several factors are considered and analyzed when determining which department or agency to audit. Consideration is given to the inherent risks within the department, known deficiencies, political sensitivities, major changes, magnitude of funding, and requests from City Administration, City Council or management.
Myth: Auditors always want to find something wrong.
Reality: This is not true, if we perform an audit of a department or agency and there are no findings or recommendations for improvement then GREAT! - we will report that everything is working as intended.
Myth: Audit is always recommending staff reduction to save money.
Reality: As a course of business, we are constantly looking for opportunities to save money. However, we would not recommend staff reductions just as a means to saving money. We may recommend staff reduction if the audit process clearly identifies operational efficiencies with no negative impact by staff reduction. Conversely, if the audit process identifies a need for additional staff to optimize departmental effectiveness we would recommend an increase in staffing levels.