Policy Analysis | November 2012

Government Performance Audit Agencies

Mikko Lindberg

  State Auditor Executive Agency / Inspector General Legislative Agency
Alabama Office of State Auditor - makes a full and complete report to the governor showing the receipts and disbursement of every character, all claims audited and paid out, and all taxes and revenues collected and paid into the treasury, and the source thereof. The Auditor also makes reports required by the Governor or the Legislature. Further, the Office performs post audits of the accounts and records of the Treasurer and the accounts and records of the Department of Finance. Department of Finance, Executive Planning Office - manages Alabama's SMART initiative, designed to improve Alabama's government by requiring organizational planning, linking plans to budget requests and appropriations, and creating meaningful performance measurements. Department of Examiners of Public Accounts - independent legislative audit agency with the authority to perform audits of the accounts of all entities receiving or disbursing public funds.
Arkansas Auditor of State - general accountant for the State, keeping track of the fund and appropriation balances of all state agencies.   Division of Legislative Audit - serves the General Assembly, the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee, and the citizens of the State of Arkansas by promoting sound financial management and accountability of public resources entrusted to the various governmental entities. Under the authority of the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee, the Division annually issues over 1,000 financial audits, reviews, and special reports.
Florida Auditor General - conducts financial audits of the accounts and records of State agencies; State universities; State Colleges; district school boards; and, as directed by the Legislative Auditing Committee, of local governments. Conducts operational and performance audits of public records and information technology systems and performs related duties as prescribed by law or concurrent resolution of the Legislature. Adopts rules for financial audits performed by independent certified public accountants of local governmental entities, charter schools, district school boards, and Florida Single Audit Act nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Reviews all audit reports of local governmental entities, charter schools, charter technical career centers, and district school boards. Inspector General - The Inspector General Act of 1994 created an Office of Inspector General in each state agency "as a central point for coordination of and responsibility for activities that promote accountability, integrity, and efficiency in government." Under the guidance of the Inspector General (IG), this office performs audits, investigations and other engagements "for the purpose of promoting economy and efficiency in the administration of, or preventing and detecting fraud and abuse in, its programs and operations." Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability - provides data, evaluative research, and objective analyses to assist legislative budget and policy deliberations. OPPAGA conducts research as directed by state law, the presiding officers, or the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee. One research component is performance evaluations and policy reviews of state government programs and follow-up reviews that assess whether agencies have resolved problems identified in earlier studies.
Georgia Department of Audits, Performance Audits Division - conducts evaluations of state funded programs and activities. The results of performance audits and other reviews are recommendations directed at improvements in state operations. The programs and activities to be audited are selected by the State Auditor and reviews may be requested by individual legislators, the Governor, or agency management. Reports cover a wide array of programs and activities encompassing any program or activity that receives state funding.

The Department of Audits and Accounts is required to provide the Legislature with financial information regarding retirement legislation and other bills that are under consideration by the General Assembly. Legislative services fall under two categories: services related to retirement legislation and fiscal notes.

Office of the Inspector General - independent state agency with responsibility to uncover fraud, waste, abuse and corruption in the executive branch of state government. The OIG investigates complaints regarding management and operation of state agencies within the executive branch to determine if wrongful acts or omissions have been, or are being committed by state officers or employees. Reports of investigation are provided to the Governor and the department head of the agency/person under investigation.  
Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts, Office of Technology and Special Audits - Performance and Examination Audits Branch of this office conducts performance audits of state programs to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of state programs and examinations to identify fraud, waste, or abuse of public funds. Examinations may be requested by the Auditor of Public Accounts, legislature, governor, constitutional officers or the public. Office of Inspector General (OIG) - responsible for conducting administrative and criminal investigations involving the Labor, Public Protection, and Energy and Environment cabinets, including violations of environmental laws and other violations of state statutes and cabinet policies. The office also provides quality audit services in an objective manner to ensure the cabinets' operational integrity, accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness and to determine whether they are in compliance with the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth. The OIG strives to prevent, identify and eliminate fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement.  
Louisiana   Office of State Inspector General - independent office within the Office of the Governor. The office is a law enforcement agency with all the investigative powers and privileges appurtenant to law enforcement. Louisiana Legislative Auditor - carries out performance audits designed to address specific objectives regarding economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of programs, functions, and activities of state agencies. Provides the legislature with evaluation and audit of the functions and activities of the agencies of state governments, and directs the office to conduct at least one performance audit of each of the 20 executive branch departments over a seven-year period. It is also possible for the office to bring audit topics to the Legislative Audit Advisory Council for approval. In addition, the Legislature may request that the office conduct a performance audit on a particular agency or in response to a particular issue or problem.
Mississippi Office of the State Auditor - performs specific duties and powers related to prescribing systems of accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting for public offices in Mississippi. Also has further responsibilities including study and analysis of existing public managerial policies and practices; pre-audit and post-audit functions; investigation of suspected fiscal violations; recovering misspent and stolen funds; and a variety of related duties and responsibilities.   Joint Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review - analyzes state agency programs and operations and helps the Legislature make state government more effective, efficient and accountable. The forms which PEER analyses take include: performance evaluations, investigations, and expenditure reviews. The PEER Committee is comprised of seven members of the Senate and seven members of the House of Representatives and employs a staff of twenty-one.
Missouri State Auditor - works to ensure the proper use of public funds and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Missouri government by performing audits of state agencies, boards and commissions, the circuit court system, the counties in Missouri that do not have a county auditor, and other political subdivisions upon petition by the voters. These audits examine financial accountability, waste, opportunities for fraud, and whether government organizations and programs are achieving their purposes and operating economically and efficiently.   Joint Committee on Legislative Research, Oversight Division - investigates and assesses state agency performance in the implementation of laws and report the findings to the Legislature. The Oversight Division conducts its work in an independent manner utilizing trained professional staff. An evaluation generally includes examination of state agency records, interviews of agency staff, surveys of affected citizens, on-site observation of program operations and review of similar programs in other states. The objectives of the evaluation usually include determining efficiency, effectiveness and quality of the program. The Division is assigned evaluations pursuant to a concurrent resolution of the General Assembly or a resolution adopted by the Committee on Legislative Research.
North Carolina Office of the State Auditor - serves as the watchdog for State government by providing citizens, legislators, and government officials with professional, independent evaluations of the State's financial records and public program performance. The State Auditor also assesses the security and integrity of the State's information technology systems, as well as providing monitoring and technical assistance for private non-profit recipients of State grant funds. Office of State Budget and Managament - responsible for coordinating statewide performance initiatives by focusing on services and results, promoting improved performance in agency management, and facilitating executive oversight of agency performance and management. These efforts ensure that agencies are adequately preparing for the future, decision makers are provided with detailed information in order to assess agency management, and citizens are informed about state government work and subsequent results. The overarching goal is to improve state government performance and management. Program Evaluation Division - assists the General Assembly in fulfilling its responsibility to oversee government functions. The mission of the Program Evaluation Division is to evaluate whether public services are delivered in an effective and efficient manner and in accordance with the law.

The Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee, in consultation with the Division Director, determines evaluation topics and establishes the work plan of the Division. Evaluations examine what state agency programs are really doing, at what cost, and to what effect if any. The Division recommends policy options for consideration by the General Assembly for programs that are determined ineffective or no longer necessary. The Division follows up to determine if recommendations have been implemented by agencies or if further action is needed by the General Assembly.

Oklahoma Office of State Auditor and Inspector - establishes accounting procedures, and forms, and provides assistance to counties and other forms of local government. The State Auditor and Inspector also performs special investigative audits upon request by certain state officials and upon petition by citizens.    
South Carolina State Auditor's Office - serves as a deterrent to fiscal mismanagement, fraud, and misuse of assets by state agencies and providers of Medicaid services and provides audit coverage of those entities as required by law or regulation. The State Auditor's Office performs the audit of the State's General Purpose Financial Statements, and the Single Audit of the State's Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards. Office of Inspector General (OIG) - established for the purpose of detecting, exposing and preventing fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement and misconduct in all of the executive agencies. The OIG is dedicated to strengthening the trust between the citizens of South Carolina and their public officials and employees. Legislative Audit Council - conducts independent, objective performance audits of state agencies and programs, as requested by the General Assembly and mandated by law. The purpose of this oversight role is to provide information which will assist the General Assembly and the public in determining whether state agencies are efficiently, effectively, and lawfully managing public resources, and whether agency programs are meeting their intended objectives.   
Tennessee Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, Division of State Audit - comprises three divisions ‐ State Audit, Local Government Audit, and Municipal Audit, and employs approximately 300 people. Each division is administered by a director. The three directors are responsible for coordinating the audit function within the department and for addressing concerns and issues in auditing and financial reporting.

The Department of Audit is a post-audit agency. The basic purpose of post-audits is to identify and report past errors and recommend future improvements. Pre-audits, in contrast to post-audits, are performed within an entity by its own employees to prevent errors, detect problems, and suggest improvements. The most important distinction between pre-audits and post-audits is that post-audits are organizationally independent of the audited entity. In this respect, a post-audit agency in government is comparable to an independent public accounting firm in the private or business sector.

The Department of Audit is in the legislative branch of state government. The department is accountable to the General Assembly and provides information to assist the legislature in overseeing the use of public funds and the efficient operation of government.

Texas State Auditor's Office (SAO) - examines the accuracy of reported performance measures and determines the related internal controls. The SAO assesses the accuracy of reported performance measures so that the Governor and the Legislature can determine to what extent they can rely on the reported performance measures when making decisions or evaluating state agencies. The SAO also verifies that the performance measures are produced by management systems that have adequate internal controls. The Legislative Budget Board (LBB) and the Governor's Office of Budget, Planning, and Policy (GOBPP) jointly approve performance measures and definitions; however, it is the expectation of the Governor and the Legislature that agency management is meaningfully involved in developing, monitoring, and using performance measures.

Agencies establish performance projections as part of their biennial appropriations requests. The LBB and GOBPP use performance measures when making funding recommendations to the Legislature and Governor. The Legislature determines which key measures and what performance targets will be included in the general appropriations bill.

Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts - audits the accounts of every state department, officer, board, commission, institution or other agency handling any state funds; determines if state agencies are providing and reporting appropriate information on financial and performance measures; and reviews the accuracy of the management systems used to accumulate and report the results. The Auditor reports annually to the General Assembly the results of such audits and makes recommendations, if indicated, for new or revised accountability or performance measures to be implemented for the agencies audited. Department of Finance, Division of State Internal Audit - provides independent and objective, general, technical, and audit assistance upon request. DSIA assists in the development of the internal audit programs through training and technical assistance. DSIA also administers the State Employee Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline, which provides state employees with a way to report instances of fraud, waste, and abuse that may be occurring in the Commonwealth. Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission - oversight agency of the Virginia General Assembly, established to evaluate the operations and performance of State agencies and programs. Required by statute to make recommendations on ways State agencies may achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in their operations. Achieving efficiency means finding ways to accomplish the same tasks at reduced cost; achieving effectiveness means findings ways to better accomplish program and agency objectives.
West Virginia State Auditor's Office - provides a thorough and accurate payment system to ensure timely processing of all state vendor payments and employee reimbursements. The Auditing Division also provides assistance, via the Freedom of Information Act, to vendors and private citizens who may have questions concerning these payments.   West Virginia Legislative Auditor's Office, Performance Evaluation and Research Division - measures the performance of state agencies by measuring outputs, outcomes, compliance and impact in relation to the purpose for which they were created; determines whether there is still a need for an agency or program; measures the impact of agencies on citizens of the state; and reports findings and recommendations to the Legislature in a concise and timely manner.

Source: SLC research of member state agencies