We do this by conducting independent and objective assessments and reporting our findings and recommendations.
It is our vision to be completely relevant and efficient, choosing the right areas to audit and completing audits quickly so that Metro can constantly improve its services and be accountable to the public.
- wise and equitable use of resources
- support findings with fact
- balanced perspectives
- ethical behavior
- being open minded
- respectful of others
The Auditor’s Office oversees the annual audit by external auditors of Metro’s financial statements and also conducts performance audits in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Performance audits involve an objective and systematic review of evidence and assess the performance and management of a program against objective criteria.
Audits may address some of the following areas:
- program effectiveness and the extent that results are being achieved
- management’s plans, methods, and procedures designed meet its goals and objectives
- compliance with laws, regulations, contract provisions, grant agreements, and other requirements that could affect resources and service delivery
- cost effectiveness of alternative methods or delivering services and attaining goals or identifying best practices for evaluating program or management approaches.
The Office of the Auditor was created as part of the home-rule charter approved by voters in 1992. The Metro Auditor operates independently of the Metro Council and is a link between the public and Metro. It is in the public’s interest to have Metro government operate the best it can to ensure that public resources are used wisely.
It is in Metro’s interest to be fully accountable to the public and achieve the public’s trust and support. We are committed to serving the interests of the public by providing constructive investigations of Metro services.
Metro Charter references to Auditor
Chapter IV – Form of government
Section 17. Metro Auditor
1) Creation: The office of Metro Auditor is created. The Auditor is elected from the Metro Area at large for a term of four years. The Auditor serves full time and may not be employed by any other person or entity while serving as Auditor.
2) First Election: Disqualification for Other Metro Elected Offices. The Auditor is first elected in the first statewide primary or general election after adoption of this charter for a term beginning January 2, 1995. During the term for which elected, and for four years thereafter, the Auditor is ineligible to hold the office of Metro Councilor.
3) Duties: The Auditor shall: (a) make continuous investigations of the operations of Metro including financial and performance auditing and review of financial transactions, personnel, equipment, facilities, and all other aspects of those operations, and (b) make reports to the Metro Council of the results of any investigation with any recommendations for remedial action. Except as provided in this section, the Auditor may not be given responsibility to perform any executive function.
Section 18. Term of Office.
The term of office of an officer elected at a primary or general election begins the first Monday of the year following election and continues until a successor assumes the office.
Chapter V – Officers, commissions and employees
(2) Council President and Auditor. The Council President and Auditor shall each be a qualified elector under the constitution of this state when his or her term of office begins and shall have resided during the preceding 12 months within the boundaries of Metro as they exist when the term of office begins. At the time of election or appointment, the Auditor shall also hold the designation of certified public accountant or certified internal auditor.
The Office of Auditor is an elected position defined by the Metro Charter with specific duties, including the requirement to make continuous investigations of the operations of Metro. These investigations include financial and performance audits. The Auditor is required to make reports to the Metro Council with recommendations for action.
The Office of Auditor consists of the Metro Auditor and such subordinate employees as the Council may provide. The Auditor has neither a management nor a policy role; rather the Auditor provides independent and objective information about Metro programs and services. The functions of the Auditor include financial as well as performance audits of all departments, offices, commissions, activities and operations of Metro and reports regarding compliance with adopted laws, policies and sound fiscal practices.
The Office of Auditor will adhere to government auditing standards in conducting its work and will be considered independent as defined by those standards. The Auditor will strive to assure maximum coordination between its function and the audit needs of Metro, including the Council and Chief Operating Officer.
In each annual budget sufficient funds and personnel shall be provided by the Metro Council to carry out the responsibilities specified herein.
2.15.030 Audit Schedule
Each year, the Auditor shall submit an annual plan to the Metro Council for review and comment. The plan shall include the departments, commissions, activities, functions and offices scheduled for audit during the year. This plan may be amended during the year as deemed necessary by the Auditor. However, additional resources not authorized in the annual budget may not be utilized without Council approval. Additionally, the Auditor may spontaneously initiate and conduct any other audit deemed necessary to undertake with notification to the Council prior to conducting the audit.
In the selection of audit areas, the determination of audit scope and timing of audit work, the Auditor should consult with federal, state, local jurisdiction auditors and independent auditors so the desirable audit coverage is provided and audit effort may be properly coordinated.
The Metro Council may request that the Auditor perform special audits that are not included in the annual audit schedule. Such audits will be considered by the Auditor taking into account available resources and audit priorities. The final decision regarding the audit schedule shall remain with the Auditor.
Special audit reports will be handled the same as regular audit reports, except that in personnel matters of a confidential nature, reporting on results may be limited to the Chief Operating Officer and the Council President.
2.15.040 Scope of Audits
(a) The Auditor shall conduct financial and performance audits to independently determine whether:
- Activities and programs being implemented have been authorized by Metro Charter or Code, state law or applicable federal law regulations;
- Activities and programs are being conducted as prescribed by the Council to accomplish the objectives intended by the Metro Charter or Code, state law or applicable federal law or regulations;
- Activities or programs efficiently and effectively serve the purpose intended by the Metro Charter, Code, state law or applicable federal law or regulations;
- Activities and programs are being conducted and funds expended in compliance with applicable laws;
- Revenues are being properly collected, deposited and accounted for;
- Resources, including funds, property and personnel, are adequately safeguarded, controlled and used in a faithful, effective and efficient manner;
- Financial and other reports are being provided that disclose fairly and fully all information that is required by law, that is necessary to ascertain the nature and scope of programs and activities, and that is necessary to establish a proper basis for evaluating the programs and activities;
- There are adequate operating and administrative procedures and practices, systems or accounting internal control systems and internal management controls which have been established by management; or
- There are indications of fraud, abuse or illegal acts which need further investigation.
(b) Audits shall be conducted in accordance with government auditing standards applicable to financial and performance audits.
2.15.050 Access to Records and Property
All officers and employees of Metro shall furnish the Auditor with requested information and records within their custody regarding powers, duties, activities, organization, property, financial transactions and method of business required to conduct an audit or otherwise perform audit duties. In addition, they shall provide access for the Auditor to inspect all property, equipment and facilities within their custody. If such officers or employees fail to produce the aforementioned information, then the Auditor may cause a search to be made and exhibits to be taken from any book, paper or record of any such official or employee, excepting personal information, and every office having the custody of such records shall make a search and forward such requested exhibits to the Auditor.
2.15.060 Audit Reports
Each audit conducted by the Auditor shall result in a written report. These final audit reports shall be made available to the public. The final audit report will include the written responses of the audited entity before it is released to the public. The Auditor shall provide the final report to the Council President prior to releasing the report to the public.
2.15.070 Responses to Audit Reports
The Auditor shall furnish a final draft of each audit report to the audited entity for review and comment before it is released. The head of the audited entity may respond in writing to the Auditor's recommendations within 10 working days, or at the Auditor's discretion, a longer time frame may be specified. If a timely response is not received, the Auditor shall so note at the time the report is released. The response must specify agreement with the audit findings and recommendations, or reasons for disagreement, as well as proposed plans for implementing solutions to identified problems and a proposed timetable to complete such activities.
2.15.080 External Audits
Subject to the requirements of the Metro Code pertaining to contracts, the Auditor shall appoint external certified public accountants to conduct certified financial statement audits, as specified by state or local law. The Auditor shall coordinate and monitor the conduct of and the responses to external financial statement audits. The Auditor shall work toward the elimination of duplicative audit work through cooperation with state, federal and external auditors. The Auditor may also, within budgeted appropriations, contract with other professionals to assist in the performance of the audit function. The Auditor will coordinate and monitor audit related assistance provided by such professionals.
2.15.090 Report of Irregularities
If the Auditor detects apparent violations of law or apparent instances of malfeasance or nonfeasance by an officer or employee or information that indicates derelictions may be reasonably anticipated, the Auditor shall report the irregularities to the Council President of the Metro Council and the Chief Operating Officer. If the irregularity is potentially criminal in nature, the Auditor shall notify the district attorney, when appropriate, in addition to those previously cited.